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Cop Shop Needed For North Of The Town

July 20, 2004 12:27 PM

Liberal Democrats are calling for an unused property in Queens Drive to be turned into a "cop shop" in an effort to help tackle anti-social behaviour and other crimes in the Goldington and Putnoe areas.

In a report sent to Mayor Frank Branston, Liberal Democrat councillors in Goldington and Putnoe call for the establishment of a community facility to house the police similar to "cop shops" found in other parts of the town. The move will make it easier for police to maintain a visible presence in the area and will make it easier for local residents to report incidences of crime and contact the Police. The multi purpose nature of the site will also mean local community groups will be able to use the site for regular meetings.

Speaking on the issue one of the reports authors, Lib Dem Councillor for Goldington, Phil Merryman said:

"We are calling for a cop shop for the Putnoe and Goldington areas as a priority to tackle crime in the area. We felt it was important that the police were given a facility they could operate from and where local people could contact them. Having a cop shop will increase the visible police presence and hopefully make our area safer. This site could also be used by local community groups as a meeting place and for activities to take place. There are successful Cop shops in other parts of the town so it made sense that the best use for these premises would be for tackling crime in the area. Money has been set aside for the use of cop shops in the borough and this property has been vacant for some time, so we have asked the Mayor to work with us and provide these premises as a matter of urgency.

The report we have issued points out the benefits to the local area of a cop shop. Local people have singled out the issue of community safety as a major concern. Tackling crime and anti-social behaviour is clearly a priority and if we act now this site will provide the ideal opportunity for a base for these efforts. If we don't see action urgently from the council we could see the site used for something else and this could mean we miss out on the opportunity for our own cop shop. With an established police presence and more people using the site It should make people feel safer and make vandals and other criminals think twice."

The report from Lib Dem Councillors Merryman, Smith and Headley has been forwarded to the mayor for his consideration, with a decision expected imminently.