Crime reports in Cheltenham drop after police station closes

Reported crime in part of Cheltenham has dropped by 35% since the closure of a local police station.

Whaddon police station was closed in July 2011 as Gloucestershire Police looked to tackle an £18m reduction in its budget.

But despite local residents' concerns, reported crime in the area has dropped by more than a third in two years.

A Gloucestershire Police spokesman said the reduction was "down to our work focusing on known offenders".

'Actively targeting'

Between April 2010 and March 2011, 509 incidents of crime were reported for the Whaddon, Lynworth and Oakley areas.

For the same period the following year the number of incidents had dropped to 479 and two years later to 339.

Despite the fall, Councillor Colin Hay said a police presence was being planned for the local community centre.

"We were worried but I have to say the police locally have really tried to make sure that their presence is seen as much as possible," he said.

The new police base was "less than a police station but more than a police point and it will have two dedicated rooms for police officers and PCSOs", he added.

A spokesman for Gloucestershire Police said the area team had been "actively targeting known offenders and their associates, rather than waiting for crimes to happen".

"We've seen a continued reduction in crime in the Whaddon area for more than a year now," he said.

"And we are, of course, very pleased."

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