A DECLINE in the number of arrests could see a custody suite in an East Riding town close permanently.
Humberside Police, which is making over £30m savings, will soon shut the five cells at Goole for a trial four-month period, but the move has been criticised by East Riding councillor Keith Moore who claims it is the “first nail in the coffin” for the town’s police station.
Coun Moore complained that it would tie up frontline officers who will have to accompany prisoners to suites miles away, including Scunthorpe and Hull.
Coun Moore said: “(Police and Crime Commissioner) Matthew Grove justified increasing the precept by saying he was going to put bobbies on the beat, but this will take bobbies off the front line. It is the first nail in the coffin for the police station because they are talking about putting officers into libraries instead.”
However, Assistant Chief Constable Alan Leaver said the police station was not affected and it would remain “open and accessible”. He said the pilot was “in response to falling numbers of arrests in the area, which has led to low prisoner occupation of the facility”.
Mr Grove said: “Custody facilities have to be manned 24 hours a day, which results in a significant staffing cost and in Goole there is very low demand for cells, as I have witnessed myself.
“This will be a trial, followed by the force actively reviewing the impact of any changes, including transportation of prisoners to custody elsewhere in the area before making a permanent decision.”