Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) candidate, Festus Akinbusoye, has announced he will earmark up to £50,000 per town for Police Contact Hubs.
If successful in the May PCC election in May 2021, Festus has pledged he will create a number of new Police Contact Hubs in the larger market towns where there are currently no police stations or desks.
A similar space currently exists in Bedford town centre, funded by Bedford BID (Business Improvement District) which is paid for by the BID levy on local businesses.
The new Police Contact Hubs proposed by Festus will be funded in partnership between the Office of Police and Crime Commissioner and local agencies.
“A key priority of mine if elected as PCC for Bedfordshire is to bring policing back into our communities so residents can talk to a police staff or community police officer in-person,” said Mr Akinbusoye.
“By working with local partners and investing in these walk-in Contact Hubs, we can ensure residents and local businesses have a more positive experience of police service in our county.”
The Police Contact Hubs will be located in high visibility locations such as on the High Street, and will be staffed Tuesdays to Saturdays from 10am to 6pm.
Based on costs of current provision, each Police Contact Hub is expected to cost approximately £50,000.
The policy pledge is in response to conversations Festus has had with residents across the county, who frequently told him that when they have raised an issue with Bedfordshire Police, they got no response, there was no follow-up, they have no idea what has happened with the intelligence provided, and no one showed up to collect CCTV footage of a crime.
“By bringing policing closer to residents through our Police Contact Hubs, and investing in the retention of our officers, we will be able to improve our response to residents’ needs, whether it is an emergency, a complaint or following up on a crime report,” said Festus.