In large towns and cities police stations must be accessible and manned 24 hours a day, said Conservative candidate Matthew Grove, 49,
“In rural areas people must see regular patrols by the neighbourhood policing teams and through an increased use of special constables - available as a point of contact in their own areas, holding regular drop in sessions, working with neighbourhood watch groups, and attending parish council meetings.
Mr Grove added: “There must always be a police station in our smaller towns and larger village communities such as Driffield, Cottingham, Pocklington, Hornsea, Withernsea and Hedon - but these may be different from what we see today. There is little sense in having police stations with such limited opening hours they are no longer providing a meaningful service for the public.
“I was shocked when I recently called at Willerby Police Station to find not only was it closed, but that it was only open to the public for 4 hours a week!
“These are no longer police stations but police offices. The easy option is to abandon local stations such as Willerby and centralise police service delivery, but this would be wrong. We must instead make these important facilities earn their keep again by ensuring they are available and used.
Mr Grove said: “It must always be an option for people to contact the police at a police station during normal office hours. To achieve this it may mean the police share their buildings with other public organisations ensuring they are ‘open’ longer than at present. The person on the reception may not always be a police officer, but will be able to give advice, take down and pass on details, and arrange appointments. “In many towns we see multiple public organisations occupying separate buildings with separate reception staff within a few hundred yards. You only have to look at Hornsea to see the Town Council offices next door to the East Riding offices, adjacent to the library, just 300 meters from the police station. I ask, do all these organisations need to have separate buildings or would it be more efficient and economical to share, and would it lead to a better service?
Mr Grove said: “If I am elected as Police and Crime Commissioner, communities will not be robbed of their community police stations. They will be revitalised and modernised to function properly, efficiently and provide the service the public expect and need, and in locations convenient for them to access.”