THE enquiry office at Taunton Police Station is closing two hours earlier from this week.

It will now operate from 8am until 8pm every day of the year except Christmas Day and Boxing Day – it previously opened until 10pm.

The change, which came in on Monday, follows a review of the Avon and Somerset force’s police stations, which showed they were not so busy fielding enquiries later in the evening.

Anyone attending Taunton Police Station outside those hours will not be able to have a face-to-face meeting, but can contact the force’s communication centre via the hatch phone, while non-urgent calls can be made on 101 or the emergency number 999.

Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Nikki Watson said: “Our enquiry offices are a vital channel for members of the public to interact with us and we want to make sure we are providing the best service to meet the demand we face.

“We have spoken to partners, staff and members of the public and we were consistently told our opening hours can be confusing and it would be simpler if we removed alternating patterns and instead open the same hours every week.

“We will be making changes to our police stations in the coming months and years so there will be further changes, but it was important for us to provide a simpler service for our communities as soon as possible.”

She said that Taunton and other large stations will open with a dedicated front office staff every day for 12 hours from 8am, while smaller stations will operate from 10am to 2pm or 6pm Mondays to Fridays.