‘Difficult decision’ sees Hemel Hempstead police station shut its doors

Hemel Hempstead Police Station.
Hemel Hempstead Police Station.

The decision to close police front desks – including the one at Hemel Hemsptead station – has been described as ‘difficult’.

But from Monday, August 12 any stations that does not have operational custody cells will shut its doors.

The nearest ‘open’ station will be Watford and there will also be a reduced service operating at Abbots Langley station.

Berkhamsted and Tring’s stations have already closed their doors.

Police and crime commissioner David Lloyd said: “This is just one of the difficult decisions that the constabulary has had to make in order to meet the financial savings required while protecting core services, particularly frontline policing.

“Though this is in some ways an operational decision it is an issue in which I take a particular interest – the means by which the public engage with the police being a key concern in my police and crime Plan.”

The decision has come under fire from Liberal Democrat Councillor Ron Tindall – a former member of the Herts Police Authority before it was wound up when the commissioner role was introduced late last year.

He described policing in the UK as operating like a ‘dictatorship’ with ‘little scrutiny’. He said: “I’m extremely concerned that it appears there was little public consultation about this denial of access to the police in Dacorum.”

Supt Matthew Nicholls of Herts Police promises that there are no plans to reduce the number of officers on the ground. He said: “The greater use of the phone and technology such as the internet has meant that we are already seeing a change in the way that we interact with the public.

“We have also seen a significant increase in the number of people using our online services. Footfall has continued to reduce and of those who do use the front counter provision only a small number actually require face to face contact.”