UTTOXETER’S crime chief will ‘have a fight on his hands’ if he wants to leave Uttoxeter without a recognised police station, the town’s MP has warned.
His statement comes a week after police and crime commissioner Matthew Ellis launched a review into the force’s use of its buildings.
He said Uttoxeter’s historic Balance Street station would only be retained if it ‘serves a strategic purpose’.
Mr Ellis also revealed technology could see cops operating from several smaller posts.
But Mr Griffiths told the Advertiser he had received ‘repeated assurances’ from police chiefs ‘guaranteeing’ the station’s future.
And he has now pledged to ensure Uttoxeter is not left without a dedicated police buidling.
He said: “Both Mike Cunningham and Steve Maskery have gone on record saying they wouldn’t move the station from its current location until another more viable site is secured.
“The comments from Matthew Ellis last week were news to me and I’ve written to him asking him to confirm he thinks a recognised station in town is essential.
“Like many residents, I see it as inconceivable that, in a rapidly-growing town, we could be left without a dedicated police hub.
“Everyone recognises the old building isn’t fit for purpose and something more modern and efficient is needed.
“If it was a building shared with the other emergency services, that would be fine.
“But we need a dedicated facility in town where people can go knowing there’s an officer there they can talk to.
“If the commissioner proposes closing the station altogether, he’ll have a fight on his hands.”
New borough council group East Staffordshire Independents will campaign to ensure Uttoxeter and its surrounding villages get ‘their fair share’ and ‘the right facilities’.
Town ward councillor Malcolm Barrett said: ““I don’t think the people of Uttoxeter will be keen to see their Police Force disappear into the back rooms of other community facilities.
“I think Uttoxeter deserves and needs a Police Station where Police Officers start and finish their shift.
“I accept that the Balance Street Police Station is probably well past its sell-by date in terms of modern policing but there is no reason why a new smaller Police Station cannot be built in Uttoxeter.”