When It Happens Panel Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting 'OXFORD NEWS' to 80360 or email
'Don't axe Leys police office - give us more officers'
10:00am Wednesday 16th January 2013 in News
BLACKBIRD Leys residents have reacted with dismay to news the local police office is to close.
Yesterday it was revealed that the building, opened in April 2010 to give police a local base, was being axed to save Thames Valley Police £12,000 a year.
Community leaders are angry at the loss and residents have backed their calls for a stronger visible police presence on the estate.
Paul Whitman, 53, owner of Delteys supermarket in Blackbird Leys Road, said the loss of the base would lessen the effectiveness of police in the area.
According to Thames Valley Police statistics, crime levels fell in the estate during the time which the office had opened.
Steve Shepherd, of Druce Way, Blackbird Leys, agreed the overall police presence in the estate needed to be higher.
The 42-year-old said: “I understand there is a budget to balance, but I live here and I can only comment on what I see, and I think there should be a more visible police presence.”
The building off Blackbird Leys Road was leased from the NHS.
Oxfordshire PCT spokeswoman Rachel McQuilliam said it would look into whether the building could return to medical use once the lease ends in July.