Nantwich police station

The new Chief Inspector in charge of policing in Nantwich has told councillors a new way of working will benefit the town, despite concerns.

Chief Insp Gareth Lee is the man in charge of the new Crewe Local Policing Unit (LPU).

And he briefed councillors at a town council meeting (June 15) after Nantwichnews revealed how Cheshire Police is over-hauling the way they work in Crewe and Nantwich.

Chief Insp Lee also reassured councillors that the police station on Beam Street will not close.

He said the new LPU will mean more officers on the beat responding to incidents, rather than sitting in police stations.

“The purpose is to improve frontline services and save money,” he said.

“I’m aware there are concerns, but we are not planning to close any police stations.”

He said the plan was for officers to book in at 7am at Crewe police station for a team briefing before they are sent out to local towns.

“Officers will work closer together, discuss priority areas, and it will free up additional time,” he said.

“What you are losing is staff being in Nantwich police station on Beam Street at 7am.

“What you are gaining is a dedicated ‘beat management’ team who will be dealing with repeat callers and vulnerable people in the community.

“When we spend more time proactively helping repeat callers, this reduces the number of calls in the long term.”

Councillors raised their fears, saying that the town had invested “a lot of money” on CCTV cameras, control panels and the front desk over a number of years.

But the front desk has not been manned for weeks after the previous staff member quit.

Cllr Arthur Moran said: “One of the problems with this was the lack of consultation by the police. I only picked it up from a rumour and then read it on Nantwichnews.

“We’ve invested a lot of money over the years, and one thing we want to know is will the front desk be open again long term?”

Gareth Lee, Chief Insp Nantwich and Crewe LPU

Chief Insp Lee (pictured, above) replied: “We do plan to fill the post.

“The front desk not being staffed has been a short term problem, an unfortunate set of circumstances that meant it was unmanned for a 3-week period.

“But I will make sure one of my officers is available to man that desk in the meantime.

“I appreciate why people would think the station is closing down, the combination of it not being manned and the news of the restructure working from Crewe.

“It gives the impression that we are starting to wind things down in Nantwich.

“But it’s the opposite. It will be quieter in the yard at Nantwich police station at 7am, but after a quick briefing in Crewe officers will be on route and mobile within minutes.

“That means they are less likely to book in at Nantwich and sit and have a cup of tea.

“It may have been the tendency to sit in the station for the first 30-45 minutes, and so were less visible to the public.

“I believe this will work. I’ve seen it work in Ellesmere Port and Neston. PCs and PCSOs there thought it was a bad idea, but now they see only positives.”

He also said some traffic cars could be sent out an hour earlier at 6am – an hour before night-shift officers finish.

“Under the new model, Nantwich will be my responsibility. There will be more resources available.”

The new structure comes into force on July 6. Cheshire Police says it will lead to 131 additional officers across the county on the streets.

One Comment

  1. Like many residents, I have doubts about what will really happen. Saying is one thing, doing is something else. But, something is clearly going to happen and we have to get used to the idea. The Government is squeezing police budgets so the police management have to respond.

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