REDUCED opening hours at Hartlepool Police Station come into force from next week.
Hartlepool Police Station, in Avenue Road, will only operate between 8am and 10pm from Wednesday, October 1.
Cleveland Police announced in May that the changes were coming into effect after carrying out a three-month footfall review of its four district police offices.
The outcome of the review revealed only one or two visits were made to the Hartlepool, Kirkleatham and Stockton police offices between 10pm and 08am each day, with around five made to the Middlesbrough office, mainly to access the centralised custody suite.
Police say the figures for daytime visits were significantly higher.
The Middlesbrough office will remain a 24-hour service for anyone wishing to attend a police station in person, as well as continuing access for custody purposes.
A video telephone device with a one-touch dial will be placed at the entrance to Hartlepool, Stockton and Kirkleatham Police Stations from next Wednesday for use when the front desk is not staffed which will link directly to Middlesbrough front desk.
Cleveland Police’s Deputy Chief Constable Iain Spittal said: “Operational policing will continue from each of the four stations without any changes and members of the public can attend at any time to meet with a police officer either by pre-arranged appointment, or at an appointment made via the video phone on the premises.
“We have taken account of the way the public expect to contact us.
“Most people prefer to contact the police by phone and very rarely will they walk to a police office, therefore we need to provide a better front desk service that matches public demand.
“With advances in technology and particularly the increase in the use of social media by the public, we need to ensure that the way we communicate with our communities is the most effective possible.
“We have increased our use of social media over the last year, with most neighbourhoods now having their own Facebook sites to keep the community abreast of what is happening in their area.
“And we hope to build on the relationships we are establishing through the use of technology, whilst always ensuring we are not compromising on the quality of the service we provide.”