Helpdesk at Wilmslow Police station to close

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The helpdesk at Wilmslow Police Station will close, which means that members of the public requiring a face-to-face service will have to go to Macclesfield station, which will be open from 8am-5pm, Monday to Saturday.

There will be a contact point telephone on the outside of the police station to contact the constabulary for support and there will be an additional weekly neighbourhood policing team surgery at the police station, so the local officers can be seen directly by the public.

Following a six-week public consultation, conducted earlier this year, Cheshire Police are streamlining their helpdesk service in order to boost its resources in the Force Control Centre - which handles 101 calls and online submissions.

The shift is being made in response to the changing demands as the vast majority now report incidents through the non-emergency 101 phone number, or via the website.

Assistant Chief Constable Bill Dutton, Head of Local Policing and Operations, said: "Helpdesks have played an important role in policing, and we know that for many people they have been an important interface between ourselves and the public.

"However, how people want to contact us has changed over the years and, with advancements in technology allowing us greater choice and convenience, it's little wonder that the public much prefer to speak to us via their mobile phones or landlines or contact us through our website.

"Over the last couple of years we have seen an increased volume of calls to us and we are unable to answer them as quickly as I would like.

"These changes will allow us to improve these methods of contact, allowing us to answer phones and deploy officers more quickly than before – helping us to achieve our aim of providing the best police service in the country.

"It's important to stress that we are not closing police stations as we have seen in other areas of the country, and police officers and our PCSOs will remain very much in the heart of our communities – those who would still prefer face to face contact have the option of attending one of our weekly PCSO surgeries."

Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire John Dwyer said: "Improving public contact with the police is a key part of my Police and Crime Plan, and people consistently tell me that they want the police to use resources more efficiently and be more contactable via 101.

"These changes to helpdesks will allow us to invest even more in our force control room and phone operators. Previous investment has already brought 101 waiting times down and an improvement in 999 answer times, so we know this approach works and delivers what people expect.

"I know from my 30-year career as a police officer about the value of face-to-face contact. In that time, I also saw a huge change in how people wanted to interact with their police service. Ensuring weekly PCSO surgeries will enable us to maintain valuable face to face contact while also improving all the other ways in which people contact the police."

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Comments

Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Jonathan Follows
Friday 1st July 2022 at 4:09 pm
It just sounds as if Cheshire Police are abandoning Wilmslow. It may well be that the helpdesk is little used, but at least it's a person in a police station that we can use if we want to or need to. Now we have a telephone. I don't personally see this as an "improvement".
John Stewart
Wednesday 6th July 2022 at 8:37 pm
The police are already abandoning Wilmslow.
1 Wilmslow.co.uk reported that there is a scheme proposed to raise money by additional payments from business rate payers. That money would then be allocated to identified issues in order to improve Wilmslow.
The first issue identified as a problem requiring attention was ... security on an evening!
Where are the police that we all pay for ?
2 Following a major law breaking event in Wilmslow (although not an issue of life or death) , I tried to contact the police. It took 45 minutes in order to speak to an operator. There were 9 callers before me awaiting a response - and every 5 minutes or so, the recorded message advised that there was one less person in the queue. Clearly there was only 1 person answering the calls. The alternative is phone 999.
We have seen this before: doctors abdicate responsibility and A&E takes the consequence. Similarly, no police presence will result in an already overburdened 999 service taking the consequences.
3 Following a break in, calls to police were redirected to a web site (get lost the elderly, those with impaired issues or those who simply do not have access etc ). Persistent calls remained un answered unless the option 'mental health issues' was selected. In order to get a response, the victim explained that an evening break in, that left 3 young children terrified for their safety WAS an issue for mental well being. As is the situation with all physical crime.
As Wilmslow grows, the police presence diminishes.
The police are already abandoning Wilmslow and, responsibility.
David Smith
Thursday 7th July 2022 at 10:18 am
More finance is needed for all the services that we have traditionally regarded as 'normal [ask any older person how it used to be but isn't any more] as well as the newer services/demands on the system.
We all want to pay LESS for everything and get more for nothing [the internet, music, TV, entertainment] and of course pay LESS in taxes too!
What we all need to do is pay MORE as long as we can see the extra services in return for our money.
I suggest a local income tax that goes into our community for anything that we deem necessary. This should not be a problem in the Wilmslow & Alderley Edge & Prestbury area because the wealth around us all is so obvious. Just look at the expensive cars and BIG houses - yes the ones that you drive and live in.
We need a couple of extra bands at the top end of the council tax too with a lessening of the financial burden on the lower bands. It’s about time the wealthier people start paying up more so that the area in which they live - along with the rest of the COMMUNITY - might actually be a BETTER place to live for all of us.
Of course this ‘pie in the sky’ thinking will never happen as long as we have a government that can only come up with slogans such as ‘Levelling Up’ which seems to be a later version of the now discredited financial ‘Trickle Down’ theory of a long gone Conservative government.
John Harries
Thursday 7th July 2022 at 5:54 pm
Inevitable, based on what was going on with cashing in on the property and moving the dosh god knows elsewhere. Wilmslow, Handforth and Alderley Edge are being short changed by Cheshire Police but the community appear to be utterly ambivalent or simply apathetic.
It's clear to me that the present arrangements are quite inadequate - under-resourced or not, on the basis of financial contribution alone this area deserves better. Policing policy however is now largely ineffective - and what we've been fobbed-off with is almost entirely reactive rather than pro-active - and that results in the tail (the baddies whatever it is they are up to) wagging the dog and, to keep to the canine analogy, we the citizen get's to clean up (or step in) the do do at almost every turn.
This medium's reporting alone demonstrates the fact almost every week - car theft, burglaries, assaults and even the lowly Dispersal Order are commonplace (and I'll not even mention traffic offences) and by comparison the clear-up rate seems to be comparatively non-existent.
Now, in all conscience and a modest balanced view, after all that mud slinging by your's truly, what we've got is....a telephone point!
Wake up and smell the coffee because tomorrow it will be your property, your car, your person, your family that suffers and someone at the end of a 'phone (if you can get through) somewhere [I hope] in Cheshire giving you a Crime Number and perhaps advising you to make a claim through your insurance company "...'cos we don't have the resources for this sort of thing sir"
Apologies to all our hard working coppers but that's the way it looks to be going.
Louise Wood
Friday 8th July 2022 at 2:30 pm
People should see the County's Policing through my eyes!
David Hoyle
Friday 15th July 2022 at 3:30 pm
Louise. How do you see it

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