Sussex Police unveil plans to cut station hours

Chief Constable Martin Richards
Image caption Chief Constable Martin Richards said it was inevitable jobs would be cut by 2015

Detailed plans to close front counters at some police stations and reduce opening hours at others have been unveiled.

Sussex Police said the proposals could save the force up to £2m as it seeks to save £52m by 2015.

The proposals would see the 24-hour Brighton police station close between midnight and 0800 GMT.

Critics have called the plans "short-sighted". Sussex Police Authority will discuss the proposal on Thursday.

Hastings, Eastbourne and Crawley police stations, which are open until midnight, would close at 2000 GMT.

Stations at Bognor, Littlehampton, Shoreham and Midhurst would close at 1400 rather than 2000 GMT.

And stations at Crowborough, Uckfield, Lewes, Newhaven, Seaford, Battle and Rye, which are open until 2000 GMT, would close at 1400 GMT.

Labour councillor Chris Oxlade said he opposed the cuts to Crawley police station.

He said: "We have got a huge amount of people out and about in the town every night of the week and closing at eight o'clock just seems a short-sighted decision."

Under the plans, front counters at Petworth, Selsey, Arundel, Lancing and Centenary House would become by appointment only.

Chief Constable Martin Richards has previously announced plans to cut up to 1,050 police officers and staff over the next five years.

The force has also frozen the recruitment of police community support officers.

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