Town is getting a real cop shop

PUBLISHED: 10:47 17 January 2008 | UPDATED: 10:01 04 May 2010

SOHAM is finally getting a police station - in the town s supermarket. When Budgens owner Jonathan James moved his manager s operation to Chatteris, he offered the use of his office to the police for free, an offer snapped up by East Cambridgeshire Sect

SOHAM is finally getting a police station - in the town's supermarket.

When Budgens' owner Jonathan James moved his manager's operation to Chatteris, he offered the use of his office to the police for free, an offer snapped up by East Cambridgeshire Sector Inspector Alan Savill.

Mr James, who was a special constable for 10 years, said: "It's a one stop cop shop. You'll be able to get your fruit and vegetables and make a police statement while you're at it."

He added: "Our location is good, slap bang in the middle of the High Street and people can get regular interaction on the ground with the police for the first time in Soham."

The office will be open by the end of January, after minor building works have been carried out.

"Our staff will feel safer having a police officer on site," said Mr James. "If someone kicks off because they won't sell him alcohol, or we have a shoplifter, there will be someone on hand."

East Cambridgeshire police announced the move at a meeting of the Soham Neighbourhood Panel last week.

Town councillor Rosemary Aitchison, one of three council representatives on the panel, said. "We've been arguing for a police station in Soham for years. There was going to be someone stationed at the village college, then they switched to the Viva Centre, and finally settled for Budgens."

Colin Luscombe, head of estates and facilities for Cambridgeshire police, said: "An office has been made available in Budgens so police officers and PCSOs will have a base during shifts.

"It means members of the public can go and visit their local officers and there will be an improved neighbourhood presence.

"Some adaptations to the office will be made and we expect officers to be using it from early spring.

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