Labour warns against closure of police stations in Northamptonshire

Corby police station, Elizabeth Street
Corby police station, Elizabeth Street

A senior Northamptonshire politician has urged police commissioner Adam Simmonds to keep police stations open in the north of the county.

At a meeting of Northamptonshire County Council today (Thursday, November 27) Labour leader Cllr John McGhee said town centre police stations increased confidence in the police.

He submitted a motion calling on council leader Jim Harker to arrange a meeting with Mr Simmonds to discuss the concerns – something Conservative Cllr Harker agreed to do.

Last month, the Northants Telegraph revealed the news that Kettering, Wellingborough and Rushden’s town-centre police stations were being considered for closure.

The future of Corby’s is also uncertain, with Mr Simmonds having unveiled plans for a multi-purpose custody centre between Kettering and Corby.

Cllr McGhee, who represents Kingswood in Corby said: “I believe Northamptonshire County Council should show some leadership over this, cross party.

“People want to see police on their streets. They want to see someone directly.”

Fellow Labour councillors backed their leader’s warning.

Cllr Elizabeth Coombe said areas like Queensway in her division and the new Stanton Cross development needed a police station nearby.

She added: “These areas are not going to police themselves.”

And Kettering councillor Mick Scrimshaw said: “Having a police station in a large town is a must, especially as our town is going to expand.”

But cabinet member Cllr Michael Clarke said: “We want our police to be as mobile as possible. Effective policing is moving out of police stations.”

And independent councillor Christopher Groome (Burton and Broughton) said he couldn’t support a motion which backed keeping the current police stations as Kettering’s was unfit for purpose.

His views were shared by Cllr Paul Bell in reference to Wellingborough’s police station.

On Twitter, Mr Simmonds said: “The public want more police responding faster, able to prevent crime and catching criminals. Buildings aren’t their priority.”