24-hour police station shut

A TEMPORARY staff shortage forced Ipswich Police Station to close for four hours – leaving visitors to dial 999 or police headquarters instead.The rare event at the station in Civic Drive, Ipswich, which is normally open 24hours a day, happened in the early hours of Sunday.

A TEMPORARY staff shortage forced Ipswich Police Station to close for four hours – leaving visitors to dial 999 or police headquarters instead.

The rare event at the station in Civic Drive, Ipswich, which is normally open 24hours a day, happened in the early hours of Sunday.

One taxi driver who turned up to report vandalism to his cab, was amazed to find the doors locked at 3.30am.

Three vandals had refused to pay fare then smashed his £200 glass partition, but he had to dial 999 instead of being able to report it at the police station.


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One person was arrested after police attended.

The taxi driver did not want to be named, but said: "I don't pay my taxes to hear that something big is happening so the county's main police station is closed.

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"We are said to live in one of the world's most powerful countries but we haven't got a 24-hour police station and I think Tony Blair should be told."

A police spokeswoman said it was "extremely rare" for the station to close, as the front desk is usually always manned by clerks.

She said: "Under very, very exceptional circumstances we do have to close if there are not enough staff available, and that was the situation for four hours on Sunday morning."

Signs were put up to ask people to dial 999, or police headquarters on 01473 613500.

The spokeswoman said there had been no particular incident happening at the time.

She added: "We don't put operational officers on the front desk when they are needed elsewhere, to deal with incidents."

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