The Harbour Police Office in Whitby’s town centre is set to close, two years after its opening was heralded as a huge leap forward in “community” policing.
Scarborough Borough Councillor Jane Kenyon was chairperson of the North Yorkshire Police Authority when the police station opened in April 2011.
She said: “They are cutting back police officer numbers in Whitby and although the public appreciated not having to go up to Spring Hill, running both the station and the harbour office on reduced resources is bound to be difficult. However, taking the principle at the time, which was to take the point of contact to the people instead of expecting the people to see them, I think was well made, and is still relevant.”
The office opened daily from 10am-4.30pm and the annual running was estimated to be around £6,100. It was intended to allow an easy access point in Whitby town centre for the public and Coun Kenyon added: “They need to make savings and clearly pulling out of the TIC is the easiest to deliver.
“But it is the public who will be the loser. They will have to go back every time to Spring Hill and if you are a visitor to Whitby it is not easy to find. I hope they make sure it’s the resources that are lost, not the access to the public.”
The Harbour Police Office was located within the Tourist Information building on New Quay Road, and the partnership between North Yorkshire Police and SBC will continue. Tourist Information staff are expected to take on the role as a point of contact between the public and police and could receive training on how to deal with minor issues.
However, concerns have also been raised about the additional burden to the TIC, especially in light of the recent relocation of the borough council’s Customer First service to the building.
At the time of going to press Julia Mulligan, the Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire, was unable to comment on the decision.