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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

New police station site ‘ideal location’

POLICE in Dalton have settled into their new headquarters and say more residents are calling in to speak to them since the relocation.

Cumbria police announced last January there would be a series of closures, sales and upgrades of its stations due to government cuts.

It was confirmed that Dalton station, in Station Road, would close because it “was not fit for purpose” and officers would be based at alternative headquarters in the town.

There was some initial trepidation among councillors and residents who feared the closure of a dedicated station would lead to a decreased presence in Dalton.

But the relocation to the Drill Hall, in Nelson Street, has put the police in the hub of the town in a building used by a variety of community groups.

And since the police moved in on November 6, the change of scenery is working well for all concerned.

The old station, meanwhile, is still up for sale.

Sergeant John McIntosh said: “The Drill Hall was chosen because it’s in an ideal location. It’s a community-owned building with a large footfall, used by the community and, on average, 1,000 people a week use it for lots of activities.

“It’s been a smooth transition. Already the number of people calling in to see us has increased and the main message is, it’s not impacting on the service we deliver to the community.”

The Dalton team is made up Sgt McIntosh, three PCs, three police community support officers and the office is also used by response officers from the wider Furness team.

PCSO John McVea said: “We’ve got clubs like Jack and Jill Playgroup who use the building, the library is across the road, Dalton Leisure Centre and Dowdales School are just round the corner, so it’s a very busy area and a great place for us.”

The latest figures for Dalton show how crime continues to remain very low.

There were 13 crimes in November 2011, compared to 22 in the same month in 2011, while violent crime stayed the same, with two in November 2012 and two in November 2011.

Police were happy to report the nine instances of criminal damage in November in 2011 was reduced to four in November 2012.

At the December Safer Stronger Community public meeting, the community priority for Dalton and Askam was kept the same – for police to focus on road safety, educating and prosecuting drivers who park inconsiderately, with further attention to speeding motorists in Dalton and Askam.

Sgt McIntosh reported that eight motorists have recently received fixed penalty tickets for causing unnecessary obstructions of the road – and eight drivers have been dealt with for speeding-related offences.

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