Northamptonshire Police’s new inquiries desk in Kettering has been officially opened.
Mayor of Kettering Duncan Bain was joined by Supt Andy Cox at the opening ceremony for the new facility at Kettering Council’s headquarters in Bowling Green Road.
Cllr Bain said: “We now have a centre here for all kinds of things.
“We’ve got things like blood testing services and council services, so it makes sense to have the police here too. It’s a win-win situation.”
The police announced plans to move the front desk from Kettering police station to the nearby council building in December.
The police hope the move will increase the visibility of the police in the town in line with its Futures Programme – which it says is designed to put policing in Kettering at the heart of the community.
Supt Cox said: “There was a bit of a sterile feeling around the old front desk at the police station and it wasn’t particularly user friendly.
“Here, the footfall is much greater.
“Even though we were in the town centre previously, we’re finding that we’re far more accessible and more people are coming to see us.”
The move has seen a number of police staff transferred to the council’s headquarters.
The force says none of the changes will have an impact on Kettering Police Station, which will remain an operational base for police officers and support staff.
A similar project in Northampton saw the public inquiry desk move from Campbell Square to Northampton Council’s One Stop Shop at the Guildhall a year ago.
Supt Mick Stamper said: “Since moving our front desk to the Guildhall, we’ve seen an increase in the number of visitors and people have told us they would have been unlikely to visit a police station, but feel much more comfortable going to a multi-agency building.
“I’m really encouraged by the positive response we’ve had and believe the move has proved we can provide a quality service to the public without being based in a traditional police station.”
The police were unable to provide us with figures comparing usage of the new inquiry desk with the one in Campbell Square.