A lot more patrols are taking place in Leighton Buzzard, say police

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Beds Police’s move into Leighton Buzzard fire station has been completed but there are no plans to reopen the public enquiry desk, officers stated.

Representatives from Bedfordshire Police and Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service attended Leighton Linslade Town Council’s partnership committee on September 7.

They told the gathering that the move from the old police station in Hockliffe Street had been beneficial, with a police team of 12 now based at the fire station.

Assistant chief fire officer Ian Howarth said: “I’m pleased to say that the community policing team moved in on August 30 into a room in the station which was previously the firefighters’ gymnasium.

“It means we’re meeting our requirements under The Police and Crime Act 2007 with closer communications, better intelligence in the community and that can only be a good thing.

“It’s already proving beneficial.”

Police Inspector Annita Clarke said: “We were really sad to leave the police station because it’s been a longstanding base and somewhere everyone recognises as a police station.

“We were quite disappointed to have to leave it to be honest.”

Insp Clarke said the fire service had been extremely welcoming to her officers.

She added: “In terms of numbers, we’ve got Sgt Louise Bates in our team and seven police constables. Alongside them, we have four PCSOs.”

Insp Clarke said these four PCSOs were an additional bonus to the police and crime commissioner’s original plan.

She said: “What we want to do is to give a really good service to Leighton Buzzard. It’s increased our visibility as we are right in the centre ... we’re doing a lot more patrols.”

She added that police were making the most of social media to engage with the public.

Cllr Amanda Dodwell asked the officers whether the public enquiry office would be re-opened – an idea that had been touted by the force at a public meeting last year.

Chief Inspector Hob Hoque responded: “At the moment there isn’t a plan to open the front enquiries office but that’s not to say this isn’t going to happen in the future.”

Currently, the only public enquiries desks in the south of Bedfordshire are located at Dunstable and Luton police stations.