Surrey Police unveils mobile front counter

A van which will act as a mobile police station has been unveiled in Surrey ahead of its launch on Tuesday.

The van will visit two locations a day across Surrey and the public can use it to carry out some of the "most common police transactions", the force said.

They include producing documents, handing in or reporting lost property and reporting accidents and crimes.

Surrey Police said the specially-equipped van was another option to using one of its 11 front counters.

Opening hours for police station front counters been revamped across Surrey and some have been closed.

'Face-to-face contact'

Stations being closed include Sunbury, Ashford, Banstead, Leatherhead, Walton, Egham, Oxted, Horley, Haslemere, Cranleigh, Farnham, Ash, Ripley, Cobham and Molesey.

Operations in Dorking, Esher, Camberley, Epsom and Godalming are being moved to co-located sites such as council buildings.

Police front counters based in local authority buildings or smaller stations are open during office hours.

Main police stations at Guildford, Reigate, Woking and Staines remain open between 0800 and 2200, seven days a week.

Supt Matt Goodridge said: "The mobile counter, in addition to the 11 fixed front counters we have across the county, gives the Surrey public another way to access a police counter at a time to suit them.

"We know the vast majority of people are now contacting us by phone or e-mail in the first instance and this shift in demand is part of the reason we have revised front counters across the force."

But he said the force still wanted to offer opportunities for face-to-face services particularly in rural communities or where the nearest fixed counter was some distance away.

The mobile front counter comes into operation on Tuesday and will visit two locations a day, covering Farnham, Ash, Haslemere, Chiddgingfold, Cranleigh, Shere, Ripley, Cobham, Capel, Horley, Oxted and Lingfield.

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