NORTH Wiltshire's top cop has warned residents in Cricklade they could be responsible for the closure of their own police station.

Chief Inspector John Boland attended Cricklade Town Council's meeting on Monday to face a grilling from residents over difficulties reporting incidents using Wiltshire police's 0845 non-emergency incident number and a perceived lack of police presence in the town.

Over the past year a number of residents have reported having to wait 45 minutes to speak to someone. In September the town council wrote directly to the Home Office to complain about the issues.

Cricklade Police Station, in High Street, no longer has a manned front desk due to cutbacks but Ch Insp Boland urged residents to use the police station in High Street as much as possible.

And when members of the public complained it was closed Ch Insp Boland assured them it was manned and officers at the station would respond if they were not tied up.

"It is not closed but when the accountants come to review our expenses the first thing they will say is that it is perceived to be closed anyway' and they will close it," he warned.

Responding to criticism about contacting police, he said: "We are trying to do our best with the limited finances and resources that we have available. I can't accept that the 0845 number is not answered."

Funding constraints also meant a £52,000 CCTV system for the town centre was not possible.

However Bob Jones, chairman of the Cricklade Business Association, has been investigating the possibility of a system and said he would continue to liaise with the town council.