New police front counter opens at UDC offices in Saffron Walden

Left to right: Jim Gordon, district councillor, Howard Rolfe, leader of UDC, Steve Ditchburn, supt E

Left to right: Jim Gordon, district councillor, Howard Rolfe, leader of UDC, Steve Ditchburn, supt Essex Police, Dawn French, UDC chief executive, Martin Richards, acting inspector Essex Police, Heather Asker, town mayor, Karen Geoghegan and Caroline Wiseman, Essex Police. - Credit: Archant

Saffron Walden residents will now be able to report crime at the offices of Uttlesford District Council (UDC) following the opening of a new police front desk at the London Road base today (April 4).

The permanent office, which will be open on Mondays to Thursdays from 9am to 5pm, and Fridays at 8.30am to 4.30pm, will replace the front desk at Saffron Walden Police Station, in East Street, after its closure in October.

The office will be based in the main UDC building and will be manned by two full-time police staff five days a week.

Lodge House, a separate self-contained building potentially housing up to 14 officers, is expected to open at the UDC site in the near future.

Essex police acting inspector Martin Richards said: “We’re very pleased to be based at UDC. The move means we can now work more closely with our partners in the local authority, which will enable us to deal with problems more effectively.

“More often than not, people come in with a range of problems and are unaware of who they should speak to. We will now be able to direct the person to the relevant department. This is a positive step forward.”

Nick Alston, police and crime commissioner for Essex, said: “I’ve encouraged Essex Police and community safety partnerships to work closely together to provide innovative and cost-effective solutions to help keep our county safe.

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“I’m pleased that as a result of detailed work between police and the local council, discussions for a new base for Essex Police in Saffron Walden have progressed smoothly, and a front counter facility in the town will remain available to the public five days a week.”

Councillor Howard Rolfe, leader of Uttlesford District Council, said: “We are delighted to be working with Essex Police and to be able to offer the opportunity for shared accommodation – it will provide a more integrated first point of contact for service users which can improve outcomes for residents. Bringing the services under one roof underlines our continued commitment to working as partners for the benefit of the communities we serve.”