Is HQ cop shop’s front desk in line for chop?

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Hemel Hempstead’s town centre police station could shut its doors to the public completely as part of continuing cost cutting measures.

Front desk services at Berkhamsted and Tring stations have already been wound up – and the Combe Street base could be next in line under plans being drawn up.

If the cutbacks go ahead then front counter services at stations across the county which do not have custody facilities will be closed.

Watford is Dacorum’s nearest custody station after the police cells at Hemel Hempstead were closed in 2010 to save cash.

Herts police and crime commissioner David Lloyd said: “This is just one of the proposed measures the constabulary is considering in order to meet the financial savings required whilst protecting vital, core services, particularly frontline policing delivery.

“The constabulary is working hard to deliver on the strategic direction set in my plan, where I am clear that I want the police to be a highly visible presence in the community – and to go where people congregate.

“Initiatives such as ‘street meets’ enable the public to more readily engage with their local officers.

“Far more people now choose to contact the police in non-emergency situations by telephone and via the internet, than do so in person.

“Obviously, the 999 telephone service has been the primary means of emergency contact for many years.

“While there are suitable and effective alternatives to providing a front counter service at several police stations, it makes sense to capitalise on that and ensure that other services are safeguarded, such as child protection and safer neighbourhood policing.”

Emergency phones working 24 hours a day situated outside all stations, which links to the force communications room, will be retained.

No final decision has been made by the constabulary.