OPENING hours at some community police stations have been halved by Cambridgeshire police.

OPENING hours at two community police stations have been halved by Cambridgeshire police.

Residents in St Ives and Ramsey have fared the worst following a force review of its 15 police stations, four of which serve the Huntingdonshire district.

Currently, the St Ives station's front office is open to the public for 40 hours a week and Ramsey for 24 hours. However, from September 6 this will be reduced to 20 hours and 12 hours respectively.

Huntingdon and St Neots' stations will also face a reduction in opening hours, taking the total number of hours that members of the public can visit a police station down from 238 hours a week to 160.

Cambridgeshire police carried out the review of opening hours as part of its cost-cutting initiative and said the new hours are "based on times convenient to the public and when the service is most used".

Chief Superintendent Nigel Sunman said: "The decision around enquiry office opening hours follows a lengthy consultation process with the public and our staff.

"This is part of ongoing work to ensure we are making the best use of resources and public money. Prior to this decision there were times when the use of enquiry offices has been infrequent and it was 
not a good use of staff time or constabulary money."

Research into opening hours included mystery shopper exercises with the public and an internal review, which included consultation with enquiry office staff.

Matthew Elliott, chief executive of the Taxpayers Alliance, said: "While spending cuts do need to be made, taxpayers will be angry that they are getting less of a service from their force, meanwhile money is still being wasted. Cambridgeshire police needs to make the best use of taxpayers' money and focus efforts on fighting crime."

INFORMATION: For details of opening hours, visit www.cambs.police.uk