Alnwick and Berwick police stations set to trial extended opening hours

Extended opening hours will be trialled at Alnwick and Berwick police stations, Northumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) has confirmed.
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The trial comes after Labour’s Kim McGuinness faced calls from local Conservative politicians to speed up the process following a pledge at last month’s police and crime panel.

Under the trial, residents will be able to seek assistance from 9am until 5pm. The current opening times are from 10am until 2pm.

The trial also includes Hexham.

Berwick Police Station.Berwick Police Station.
Berwick Police Station.
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Ms McGuinness, who is standing for election as the new North East Mayor, said: “I want to reopen stations where it is affordable. I have written to residents to update them that Northumbria Police is trialling extended opening hours at Alnwick, Berwick and Hexham police stations.

“I have explained these trials are in place for the foreseeable future while usage is monitored at different times of the year.”

Last month, councillors signed off on plans from the PCC to up the police precept for households in Tyne and Wear and Northumberland by 7.7%.

Ms McGuinness pledged that the extra cash will be used to explore the reopening of some police stations that have been closed down at the time. She also blamed the rise on a lack of extra funding from Government.

Alnwick Police Station.Alnwick Police Station.
Alnwick Police Station.
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Ros Munro, who is running to be elected as Ms McGuinness’s successor in May, said if elected she would open 14 front offices that were closed and extend their opening hours to 24 hours a day.

She said: “I am clear that policing in Northumbria should work for local people, and a key part of that is ensuring that the police are accessible.

“That is why, as Police and Crime Commissioner, I would not only reopen the 14 police station front offices that were closed, but extend their opening hours to 24 hours a day to ensure that those that need to report crime are able to do so.”

Responding to this, Ms McGuinness said: “This year alone Northumbria Police has been forced to make £12m in savings as a result of Government austerity. Any politician who says they can reopen 14 stations 24/7 without council tax rises or job losses is at odds with reality.”