The closure of the police enquiry desk in Maltby has been branded a “setback” for local residents.
South Yorkshire Police has opted to close the enquiry desk from Saturday 1st October, as the force tries to save £43 million.
Currently the only place people living in this area can go to speak to an officer face to face is Maltby - after the Dinnington desk closed back in 2002.
People can go in the Main Street Police Station in Rotherham, which will provide an enchanced seven day a week service.
Maltby Town Councillor Keith Stringer said he was saddened by the closure, which he saw as a setback for the people of Maltby.
“This is a setback for the people of Maltby and the surrounding areas. What about the people who would rather speak to someone on a one to one basis in Maltby but now have to consider travelling to Rotherham?” he said.
“Surely the Government cutbacks can be seen to be detrimental to the people of Rotherham when it is obvious that the communities confidence and peace of mind will been damaged by the reduction of manpower to a service that is so vital to the people who turn to the police to protect them whenever they feel threatened.”
“Reducing manpower to enquiry desks and moving them around is only going to bring a lack of confidence to a society that needs more reassurance and trust in a vulnerable society.”
Rother Valley MP Kevin Barron said the decision to close the enquiry desk was based on research which showed that it receives a daily average of six visitors attending for a range of general service issues.
He added: “This is disappointing news, but given the savings South Yorkshire Police are having to make due to the Government’s cuts it is not unexpected.”
When it first emerged that Maltby enquiry desk could be closing, South Yorkshire Police Ch Const, Meredydd Hughes said many people now prefer to contact their local policing team over the phone, and still have the chance to speak to officers in person at local community meetings.
He said: “By closing little-used front desks we hope to ensure that the service the public get when they call us will be maintained or even improved. Technology is changing the need for people to attend police stations, making it pointless to keep little-used front desks open when the money could be spent more usefully elsewhere.”