Corby MP Andy Sawford has called for an assurance the town’s police station will stay open if plans for a £6m custody and investigation centre to serve the north of the county go ahead.
Northamptonshire Police said the cells at the stations at Corby and Kettering are no longer fit for purpose and the force has drawn up proposals for a new centre, which would have 20 cells, at North Kettering Business Park.
If Kettering Council approves the scheme the centre could open in 2015.
Mr Sawford has written to Adam Simmonds, the county’s police and crime commissioner, seeking an assurance Corby’s police station in Elizabeth Street would stay open, while also expressing disappointment the new centre is being planned for the outskirts of Kettering.
He said: “I fully understand that there needs to be some flexibility in how, and from which base, the police respond to incidents.
“But response times are significantly affected by where services are based.
“Corby is a growing town with a growing economy and, while crime has fallen markedly over the past decade, the town still has significant policing needs that must be met.
“It is possible for officers in Corby operating out of the police station in Elizabeth Street to respond to issues in the heart of the town much more quickly than if their starting point was at a station elsewhere.”
A spokesman for the office of the police commissioner said: “We will be extending an invitation to Andy Sawford to meet both Adam Simmonds and Chief Constable Adrian Lee, so that a way forward can be found which best serves future operational policing in the north of the county.”
Mr Sawford said he doesn’t want Corby to end up with a front desk that could end up being just a shop window, instead of an operational police station.
In his letter to Mr Simmonds, Mr Sawford said: “It is my first duty, as the local MP, to fight for the services that Corby needs and I am a very determined campaigner.”
The custody centre at Corby Police Station was built more than 60 years ago and Northants Police say it no longer meets Home Office standards.
The bill to bring it up to date would be more than the cost of the proposed centre at Kettering. A new £9m cell block was also opened at Northampton’s new criminal justice centre in September.