Front of house police services in Chipping Norton have been moved from the London Road Police Station to the town hall as part of a Thames Valley Police cost cutting drive.
Since January 20 West Oxfordshire District Council’s Guildhall reception has doubled up as a one-stop shop for police and council services, with the former Victorian police station to be sold in 2015 to save the force £70,000 per annum.
Cllr Mark Booty, WODC’s cabinet member for community safety said: “We were very keen to help the police maintain a valuable front counter service in Chipping Norton and are pleased to provide this service for them from the Guildhall.
“For residents, the Guildhall has the added benefit of being a town centre location and is easily accessible with everything on the ground floor.”
TVP has moved to reassure residents that the level of police staffing in Chippy will not change. Although two WODC staff will man the new counter instead of police staff, the number of officers based out of the London Road station will remain the same until 2015.
Supt Colin Paine, Commander for West Oxfordshire and Cherwell said: “The opening of this new front counter will allow people to visit more easily as it is in a town centre location.”
Town mayor Mike Tysoe said the change was acceptable as much of the front counter work is routine paperwork and does not require police staff, and because few, if any, arrests are made at the London Road station.
The new counter opens for 15 additional hours per week, from Monday-Friday 8.45am-1pm and 2pm-4.30pm (4pm on Fridays).