Published: 12:00, 10 January 2018
| Updated: 12:14, 10 January 2018
Fewer police officers are to work out of Tunbridge Wells Police Station in future, though shoppers may actually see more Bobbies patrolling the town centre, Kent Police said.
The authority is reshuffling its resources in a bid to use officers more effectively across Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells in response to constant budget pressures.
In future, some officers in the District Policing Team currently based at Tunbridge Wells, will report to the Tonbridge Station in Pembury Road, 6.4 miles away, although once on duty they will still respond to incidents in Tunbridge Wells.
However, Tunbridge Wells is gaining a new dedicated team of officers to police the town’s retail centres.
Chief Inspector Chris Mayers said: “There will be no reduction in the number of officers available for patrols or to attend incidents in Tunbridge Wells, as a result of any changes made.
“I’d like to reassure residents that we will continue to have officers based at Tunbridge Wells police station, where we will also be creating an additional team dedicated to policing the town centre.”
He said: “Changes to the policing model for this part of West Kent will see a greater number of officers based at Tonbridge police station. However it is important to understand that, as before, they will also continue to serve the Tunbridge Wells area.”
The reorganisation will start in February for a trial period.
Chief Insp Mayers said: “There will be ongoing assessment to evaluate the effectiveness of the changes.
“However, we are confident that both Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge can actually benefit as a result of greater resources overall and having the two districts working together more closely will enable us to provide additional support both in rural and town areas.”
It’s understood that part of the rationale is that the Tonbridge Station in Crescent Road has more parking and facilities than Tunbridge Wells.
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