Gloucestershire Police seeks views on station closures

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Up to 17 community police stations could close under cost-saving plans being considered by Gloucestershire Police.

"Police points" in local libraries and shared buildings are among the ideas being discussed as the force looks to save £18m over the next four years.

A series of public meetings will be held next month as views are sought on the future of community policing.

Gloucestershire Police Authority wants to see investment "in people not buildings" and will have the final say.

Chairman of the authority Rob Garnham said a series of proposals had been drawn up regarding police accommodation but no decisions had been made.

Station closures being considered are in Berkeley, Bishops Cleeve, Bourton-on-the-Water, Brockworth, Bussage, Churchdown, Fairford, Lydney, Moreton-in-Marsh, Nailsworth, Newent, Stonehouse, Tetbury, Tutshill, Whaddon, Winchcombe and Wotton-under-Edge.

As an alternative to current arrangements, police officers could be stationed in libraries or other public buildings.

Deputy Chief Constable Mick Mathews said they are looking to "re-define" policing in the county and increase the visible presence of police.

"We're also looking to say: 'Do we need all those buildings and the costs that they bring?' or is there a better way of deploying police officers and staff in those communities", he added.

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