Hundreds back campaign to re-open Dinnington’s police station after murders

Tim Wells and fellow campaigners outside the closed and boarded-up Dinnington police station.
Tim Wells and fellow campaigners outside the closed and boarded-up Dinnington police station.

A campaign to re-open the police station at Dinnington, after two murders in the town, has attracted hundreds of supporters.

But South Yorkshire’s police and crime commissioner insists the closure decision will not be reversed.

The campaign is spearheaded by Dinnington resident Tim Wells, who set up an online petition that now has more than 800 signatures.

Mr Wells said: “Crime is escalating in the area. We have never had murders before, and there has also been a ‘killer clown’ attack. Something has really got out of hand.

“Bringing back the police station would make the public feel safer. It would also act as a deterrent to criminal activity, reduce crime and allow the police to be more proactive in preventing it.”

Mr Wells is supported by Coun David Smith, the chairman of Dinnington St John’s Town Council, who said: “We are entitled to have a 24/7, manned police station. We are a big area and there are a lot of people here. Crime is getting worse because we haven’t had the police patrols.”

The station was shut last summer amid claims it wasn’t used properly and “made no financial sense” to stay open. Money saved would pay for frontline and police community support officers (PCSOs).

Mr Wells feels that the cost of keeping the station open, said to be £15,000 a year, could be “esaily recovered” by scrapping the post of police and crime commissioner and transferring his responsibilities back into the hands of the Chief Constable.

However, the current commissioner, Dr Alan Billings, said that while the recent spate of crime was concerning, he was not convinced that re-opening an old station would help. “We need officers in the community, not in buildings,” he said.

THE ageing Dinnington station was a victim of the move towards more modern and flexible policing, say force bosses.

“Those who call for the re-opening of cold, dark, damp stations are simply out of touch with the current ways of preventing and tackling crime and anti-social behaviour,” said South Yorkshire’s police and crime commissioner, Dr Alan Billings. “They are choosing to heat and light empty offices, rather than have boots on the ground. This is inefficient and ineffective. Police officers don’t need buildings in the way they used to. All officers are now equipped with hand-held laptops that allow them to make their reports from the area they are policing. This saves 150,000 hours that were taken up by travelling to and from stations. We are doing the best we can with fewer resources than we used to have.”