Yarm Police Office is to close, it's being announced by Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland Barry Coppinger. It follows a recommendation from the Force. 'Beat surgeries' will be used in the library instead, on a trial basis, and social media sites have also been set up.
A footfall survey revealed more people used the office to ask for travel directions than to report crime. The move will save almost £19,000 per year.
“Sadly because of the government cuts imposed on the Force, I am now in a position where I have to choose buildings or people, and as I have given a commitment to maintaining and developing neighbourhood policing, the choice will be people every time."
– Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland Barry Coppinger
“The ways in which we interact with the public is changing, thanks to advances in technology and particularly the increase in the use of social media, so we need to ensure that the communications channels we use meet the requirements of our communities.
“Their office is the streets, where they are out and about speaking to communities and dealing with crime alongside detectives. Our true assets are not bricks and mortar, they are our people.”
Ricky Beech escaped from Kirklevington Grange Prison in Yarm on January 23. Police say he poses no particular risk to the wider public however, they are advising anyone who sees him not to approach him and to contact police immediately on 999.