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PCC opens new central Bedford police enquiries office in time for the peak festive season of demand
Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Kathryn Holloway, has opened the latest and most high profile police station in the Force in Bedford as a “shopfront for policing in the town” immediately ahead of the key Christmas and New Year festivities.

“I promised, in my Police and Crime Plan, that I would put police in the most visible locations possible where they could do most good. This Enquiries Office will allow the people of Bedford we access to officers to report crime and call for help during the key hours for shopping and working in the town centre and will be a base after hours for those policing the pubbing and clubbing businesses in the immediate area,” said Commissioner Holloway.

“The need for an Enquiries Office in the very centre of town, in Lime Street, was obvious even before it opened and on the first official day of operation (Monday 18 December 2017) when people were calling in to report crime, including a theft, shoplifting and a hate crime on Monday morning alone,” she said.

Bedford’s Community Policing Inspector Paul Ayling said, “It’s fantastic to be based here in the centre of town. I’ve told my less experienced officers that they will come across crime they can take action over every time they go out of the door and that’s the attitude and the results I expect from them.”

“Even as we moved the furniture in a lady from Chelmsford in Essex, who didn’t want to report a crime that had happened in Bedford online or on the phone, came to see us and reported it to officers which really shows the value of the new office,” added Enquiries Office Manager, Jay Khan.

“It’s a much better environment for the new Community Policing Hub of 36 officers and staff to operate from than the old Greyfriars Station, however much nostalgia surrounded that building for the longer term residents of Bedford,” said Commissioner Holloway.

Insp. Ayling confirmed the popularity of the move for his officers, “We are right in the heart of where crime is happening day and night. Being based here will provide us with a lot of opportunities to make ourselves known in the area.  

“The working environment is much better at Lime Street. Although there has been a lot of nostalgia, understandably, the move has been a breath of fresh air. We are excited to be working here and there has been a real uplift in morale as a result,” he said. 

The Bedford Enquiries Office in Lime Street, immediately off the High Street and only minutes from the larger pubs and clubs, will be open for public reporting and queries from 9am - 5pm and it was confirmed that, if officers are in the building outside these times and the public are reporting an emergency, they will of course respond. 

However, Inspector Ayling called on the public to support the desk staff at Lime Street and understand that they are there to take public enquiries and reports and that, even if officers can be seen in the interior, they might not be able to respond at the desk immediately as they have to complete vital work around crime reports and problem-solving, as well as being on patrol.

Insp. Ayling confirmed his intention for the Community Hub team to be as visible as possible in patrolling Bedford town centre, including on bicycle as well as on foot and in vehicles, and welcomed the move ahead of the approaching period of highest demand in policing, around Christmas and the New Year. 

“We’re right where we need to be in the run up to the Christmas holiday with all the issues associated with drinking or shop thefts so it’s the perfect time to move in,” said Insp. Ayling.