Labour's Bill Esterson given assurances that Maghull Police Stat

Bill Esterson

Maghull's Labour MP Bill Esterson has received assurances from the area's top police officers that members of the public will still be able to get help from the police at Maghull Police Station, despite the closure of the public counter.

Police enquiry desks were closed at stations throughout the borough at the start of the year due to Conservative-Liberal Democrat government cuts to the Merseyside Police Force's budget. The decision was taken so that the police could maintain full numbers on the beat and a tough choice was taken between closing the front desks at Maghull, Crosby and Formby and taking police off the front line.

This leaves just Southport Police Station with a 24-hour desk and Marsh Lane with a part time desk.

Labour MP Bill Esterson raised the public's concern about the desk closure with new area commander Nikki Holland.

Bill said: "Merseyside Police are being put in an impossible position because of the Tory-Lib Dem government cuts to its funding.

"Funding for the police in Merseyside has been cut by 20%. What the senior officers are telling me is that the force could either keep the police inquiry desks or keep police officers out on the streets protecting the people who live here.

"The closure of the public desk at Maghull has therefore been a victim of these cuts."

But Bill said officers have assured him that members of the public will still be able to raise concerns at the Maghull station.

Bill said: "The police want to make clear that Maghull Police Station is still fully operational and the station is not being closed down.

"There is a telephone near to the door of the station which will put you through to the police. And people can still call the station and make appointments to speak in person to officers. It's not ideal, but because of the Tory-Lib Dem cuts, I can understand why Merseyside Police has been forced to make that decision. It was either officers out on the streets or the front desks. And if people really need to see a police officer, I have been assured that an officer will come and meet them.

"The desk closure is the first front line casualty of the government's cuts which David Cameron and Nick Clegg both assured us all that they we would not see. I have every confidence that the police will do all they can to protect the communities in East Sefton but the Tories and Lib Dems have made that job much harder because of the reckless nature of the cuts to front line policing which they have brought in. The evidence shows crime may be rising. Cuts in police funding must be the wrong response from the Lib Dems and the Tories in Maghull, Lydiate and Aintree."

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