Police response officers will have a base in Corby once more next month.
A new home on the fourth floor of the Corby Cube in George Street - which we revealed last month - is set to open on September 20, Northamptonshire Police announced this morning (Monday).
The former police station in Elizabeth Street, which was deemed not fit for purpose, closed in December 2017 after its fate was sealed three years earlier by former crime commissioner Adam Simmonds. Response officers moved to the Northern Accommodation Building (NAB) in Kettering and neighbourhood teams moved to Deene House but both will now move to the Corby Cube.
The move will be an interim one while work takes place to create a new joint police and fire hub on the site of the town’s existing fire station in Phoenix Parkway.
Chief Constable Nick Adderley, who described the original decision to move officers away from town as "crazy", said: “Our aim is to ensure all of our police bases across the county are best placed within our communities, so that we can most effectively fight crime and protect people in Northamptonshire.
“The office base is a step in the right direction and I am sure will be welcomed by the people of Corby.
“The increased visibility of officers will not only help to improve public confidence and reassurance within the town, but will also deter those who continue to blight our communities by committing crime and causing anti-social behaviour.”
Labour’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Corby Beth Miller headed up a campaign to try to encourage the authorities to reinstate Corby’s police station.
Her Freedom of Information request found police response times to Corby on urgent calls had nearly doubled in the past decade.
This afternoon Miss Miller said: "I'm so glad to hear the move has been confirmed. We've been campaigning for more than a year now and I'm so pleased to see it has paid off.
"For me, this is what politics is all about - bringing about positive change by harnessing the voice and with it the power of local people.
"I'd like to thank the Chief Constable for his work on this and taking on board local concerns."
The late Corby councillor Mary Butcher also previously spoke out about how gangs were getting away with it because of the town's lack of a police station.
Corby Cube already houses the police enquiry desk on the first floor of the council building, which is open for the public to visit and get advice, report incidents and traffic collisions or enquire about property amongst other things.
As part of the move response officers will be able to complete any office-based work in Corby without having to return to the NAB in Kettering during their shift.
Corby MP Tom Pursglove said: “I have been raising the need for an urgent response base to be located in Corby with the Police and Crime Commissioner and senior Northamptonshire Police officers for months. I am therefore delighted that a deal has now been agreed to locate a new policing base at the Cube.
"Given the recent concerns about anti-social behaviour, particularly in the town centre, this will boost frontline officer presence, whilst also providing a more efficient rapid response capability within the town.
“This is good news for Corby residents who want to feel safe on our streets and at home, along with the ongoing recruitment of 200 extra police officers locally, which will no doubt be bolstered further by the recruitment of 20,000 more officers nationally.
“I want to see more police officers out on the beat, catching criminals and deterring crime. That’s what my constituents have asked me to deliver and that is exactly what is happening through these announcements.”
Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold said: “This is a positive move which will enable response officers to remain in and around Corby between incidents and while carrying out related tasks.
“The office base is part of the Chief Constable’s plans to reshape the force and comes from our shared desire to make sure Northamptonshire Police is visible and accessible in the communities it serves but at the same time, able to respond effectively.
“I will always prioritise investing in frontline staff rather than maintaining buildings because our people - not our buildings - keep the public safe.
“In the longer term, we will see a joint police and fire hub on the site of the fire station that give Corby a true response and neighbourhood base that supports the delivery of high-quality services to the public and is also efficient and affordable."