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Leicestershire to open new front office

It will mean that there will be a Front Enquiry Office in all nine of the force’s Neighbourhood Policing Areas.

A new front enquiry office will open in Rutland, Oakham within the next few months as the force looks to “strengthen the visibility of police within rural communities”.

Previously the office had been housed at Rutland County Councils’ contract centre – but it has remained closed since the pandemic began.

T/Chief Constable Rob Nixon has said that improving the visibility and accessibility of policing – particularly in rural areas is a priority for the force.

Other forces, including Devon and Cornwall, are similarly moving to re-open front counters following the APPC pushing to re-open stations in spite of budget pressures.

Devon and Cornwall are spending £186,000 next year as they plan to open four new counters and make a further temporary one permanent.

217 police stations and counters closed between 2015 and 2021 across England and Wales. 

Alternative approaches are also be tried across the country, however, with the West Mercia PCC – opting instead for co-location opportunities in a bid to improve partnership working and save overhead costs.

Leicestershire’s T/CC Nixon said: “Throughout the last few years we have continued to expand the different ways the public can contact us, particularly digitally – with the use of online reporting.

“But we know different people prefer to engage with us in different ways and so it is vital we provide as many options as possible. Having a FEO at the station will help to strengthen the service we offer in the area.”

PCC Rupert Matthews added: “As set out in my Police and Crime Plan, I want communities in remote areas to feel they have the same level of service and access to police that those in urban neighbourhoods. I am delighted the force is taking this step and I hope the people in and around Rutland will use the facility to engage with their local police.”

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