Knowsley Council has today received news from Merseyside Police of their plans to reduce the opening hours of the General Enquiry Office in Kirkby.
With immediate effect Merseyside Police plan to reduce the opening hours to the public from six days to two. The new opening hours are Monday and Wednesday, 8am to 4pm.
Councillor Graham Morgan, Leader of Knowsley Council said “Knowsley Council is shocked by the news from the police that they are reducing the public’s access to Kirkby Police Station with immediate effect. The Chief Constable addressed our Council meeting three weeks ago and did not mention his intentions about changes to local policing in Knowsley. Furthermore, the Chief Constable and the Police and Crime Commissioner attended a meeting of the Police and Crime Panel on 5 February, where there was lengthy discussion generated by a similar decision to reduce hours at a Police Station in our neighbouring borough of St Helens. At no stage did either of them inform the Panel Members, which included a representative from Knowsley Council, of the force’s intention to make the same decision with regards to our station in Kirkby. At that stage they must surely have been aware that this was going to happen but they chose not to tell us.
“In response to the savage cuts from Central Government, Knowsley reluctantly supported the Commissioner’s proposal to increase her precept by £24 for every Band D property in the region to ensure we get the required level of neighbourhood policing in our Borough. If we were aware of this proposal to reduce our community’s access to Kirkby Police Station that has been dropped on us today, we would have taken a different view. It is clearly unfair that local residents are paying more for a policing presence in the area due to an increased precept, yet policing services are being taken away from the local community.”
“We are disappointed with the way that this has been dealt with, in particular the lack of any prior consultation with the Council or our residents, and will be urging Merseyside Police to reverse their decision and ensure adequate public access to Kirkby Police Station.