CONFIRMED: Town police office IS to close

Winslow Police Office
Winslow Police Office

A police office that re-opened just five years ago is to close again, it has been confirmed.

Winslow Police Office will shut in May.

Thames Valley Police has confirmed that the Winslow and District Neighbourhood Policing Team is to relocate to Buckingham police station.

A spokesman said the move will result in savings of £12,660 a year to safeguard frontline policing.

It comes as Thames Valley Police needs to make £44.6 million of savings over the next three years in addition to £58.9 million already delivered since 2011/12.

The spokesman said: “Relocating from inefficient police offices is part of Thames Valley Police’s asset management strategy. Saving money on buildings enables the force to protect frontline policing.

Insp James Davies said: “The public has told us they want us to protect frontline policing as the force looks to make significant savings over the next few years.

“The neighbourhood policing team, currently based at Winslow Police Office, will relocate to join Buckingham Neighbourhood Team at Buckingham police base just six miles away.

“Currently two PCs, three PCSOs and six volunteers operate from Winslow Police Office.

“It does not have a front counter service and it is infrequently visited by the public.

“There will be no change to the number of officers or staff available to the public which means there will not be any effect on our policing service.

“The neighbourhood policing team will maintain the same level of visible presence and continue to patrol in accordance with their patrol plans and neighbourhood priorities.

“The relocation will not in any way affect response times to incidents requiring immediate police action.

“The 24/7 patrol teams, who provide an emergency response, will continue to be provided from Buckingham and Aylesbury as has always been the case.

“Officers will be contactable as usual on the 101 number or by email.”

Mayor of Winslow David Barry said: “It’s a shocking piece of news and I will be raising it at the Winslow Town Council meeting on Thursday.”

Mr Barry added: “As current chairman of the Winslow and District Neighbourhood Action Group (NAG), I’m quite surprised and somewhat disappointed that it’s going to happen.”

Winslow town and district councillor Llew Monger said the closure would be “a real slap in the face for our dedicated neighbourhood police team, the volunteers who work there and those, including me, who campaigned to get the office opened”.

Historically, the police used an office in the Winslow Town Council building on the High Street.

When this closed, local people campaigned to get a new office.

Th new office finally opened in 2010, in High Street premises opposite the Elmfields Gate turn, following months of work to fit it out.

Mr Monger said: “It would be a shocking waste of these resources to move out now.

“As the office is manned by volunteers and police numbers are to stay the same, the only saving will be the rent of the cop-shop.”

Mr Monger added: “Having an office in Winslow gives the police a full-time presence and all shifts start and end there so the police are seen much more often than they would be if operating from Buckingham.

“A diminishing police presence, at a time when there are signs of increased anti-social behaviour locally, is a retrograde step.”

Thames Valley Police also today announced plans to close two Police Information Points (PIPs) in Milton Keynes.

We are awaiting confirmation from Thames Valley Police of the Winslow Police Office closure.