Nine Derbyshire police inquiry offices to close

Police front desk
Image caption The changes to the service would save the force nearly £500,000, Derbyshire Police said

Derbyshire Police has announced plans to close nine of its 25 inquiry offices and reduce the opening hours of others.

The affected offices were being closed as they were underused at a time when budgets were being cut, police chiefs said.

Changes in the service is expected to save nearly £500,000 a year.

The offices to close are Alfreton, Belper, Chapel-en-le-Frith, Dronfield, Heanor, Killamarsh, New Mills, Shirebrook and Staveley.

'Difficult choice'

Assistant Chief Constable Dee Collins said: "The way we deliver services to the public has moved on greatly in the last few years.

"Many of the things that inquiry offices used to be the first port of call for are being delivered elsewhere.

"Many sites were simply not viable to be kept open both from an efficiency point of view and a financial one."

ACC Collins said it was a "difficult choice but we had to weigh up carefully between retaining buildings or retaining officers".

The force's grant from the government will be cut by 3.8% for 2011/12 - a reduction of about £5.5m.

It will also have to make more savings in 2012/13 as budgets are cut by a further £7m.

The changes to the inquiry offices service will take place between February and June 2012, Derbyshire Police said.

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