Nottinghamshire MP criticises police cuts plans
A Labour MP has criticised police proposals to close one of four custody suites in Nottinghamshire.
The Bassetlaw MP John Mann said the new plans to close the holding facility at Worksop would mean fewer arrests and more wasted police time.
They were part of money saving measures approved in principle by Nottinghamshire Police Authority at a meeting on Wednesday.
Nottinghamshire Police said it needs to save £40m over the next four years.
The proposals would leave custody suites in Bridewell, Mansfield and Newark.
Mr Mann said it would be a false economy.
"To lose large numbers of police officers off the street because they are going to be spending their time taking people arrested in Worksop to and from Mansfield by car is totally absurd," he said.
"Police officers will make decisions not to bother arresting people because of that. It's a nonsense cut."
Deputy Chief Constable Chris Eyre, from Nottinghamshire Police, said the force needed to make stringent cuts.
"We're facing a 19% cut to our budgets," he said.
"The closure of Worksop custody isn't something that is being done in a precocious or cavalier way. It's been well planned and well thought through.
"It's likely that the time when police officers are fully occupied dealing with incidents from response is likely to increase from 49% to 51% of their time.
"We will make sure for the public of Nottingham and Nottinghamshire we give the very best service we possibly can."
A final decision has yet to be made, but the chairman of Nottinghamshire Police Authority, Jon Collins, said that if the closure went ahead there would be a review after six months.
"This is an operational decision that the police themselves have taken," he said.
"If the police go ahead we've asked for a full review of the impact of that change.
"If the concerns of John Mann are justified then we will be looking for the police to reconsider the decision at that point."
The police authority has also approved a public consultation on plans to close up to 20 front desks at stations across the county.
A decision on these closures will be made at a meeting in September.