READERS who make late returns to Deddington Library should beware of having the book thrown at them after police moved into the village facility.
Last Wednesday, the local policing team moved from its former office in Market Place to new facilities within Deddington Library.
The site has been fitted out with a new office and necessary equipment to offer a front counter service and base for Deddington’s neighbourhood officer, PC Richard Miller.
Superintendent Andy Boyd, Commander of the Cherwell Local Police Area, said: “This is a very positive way of increasing police visibility and accessibility.
“Putting key local services in one convenient location provides an improved service to the community. It also reduces costs for both our organisations at a time of great pressure on public sector finances.
“As most local people will know, the library building used to be the old magistrates’ court, so it feels like a natural home for our neighbourhood team.
“We hope that people will find it easier to access police services when they can chat to us at the same time as changing their library books.”
The decision to relocate the office has also been welcomed by Bryn Williams of Deddington Parish Council, who said: “Having the police within the library is a fantastic step forward for the community. In the past, going into the police station could be quite daunting but the library is a much more inviting place to go and puts them in a much more prominent position.”
A community engagement service point (CESP), manned by volunteers, will be set up inside the library itself.
Members of the public will be able to visit the CESP for general information on policing issues such as crime prevention, what to do in the event of a road traffic collision, how to report lost or found property, and how to contact local neighbourhood officers.
A range of leaflets on various subject matters including domestic abuse and Neighbourhood Watch will also be available.
Cllr Keith Mitchell, leader of Oxfordshire County Council, said: “The council is delighted to be working with Thames Valley Police to ensure that two valued community resources in Deddington can come together.
“How people use the library will not change as a result of the police having an office there.”