Early talks could see police station shut in Gosport

ON THE CARDS Gosport's police station could shut
ON THE CARDS Gosport's police station could shut
Paul Kingswell, 48, from Gosport Picture: Malcolm Wells (170815-7804)

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PLANS to shut Gosport police station are being discussed, The News can reveal.

The move – which has not yet been decided – could see police officers based in the town hall, in High Street.

But Labour councillor June Cully, member for Town, where the South Street station sits, is concerned.

She said: ‘It’s something that is not going to be popular to Gosport residents.

‘The convenience of it being there [in South Street]is very good for their security.

‘People know where to go and if there is something they have to report it’s much easier for all of us if it stays here in Gosport.

‘If they can find accommodation for it in the town hall then you need to look at opening times.’

She added she was concerned as people wanting to speak to the police would not want to wait in the same town hall reception.

The News understands talks between Gosport Borough Council and Hampshire police are under way at a senior level.

It comes as the force is reviewing its estates.

And a serving officer told The News public confidence could be knocked, leaving and people asking – ‘have we deserted Gosport?’

‘But I don’t think it will come to that,’ the officer said.

‘I just think people like to feel confident, it’s a bit like having a doctor’s surgery around the corner.

‘Most people associate being secure with a police station.’

Tory councillor Mark Hook is the council leader.

He refused to comment on any discussions.

But he said: ‘We welcome the opportunity to talk to any other public body.’

As reported, there were concerns over the closure of the custody cells at the station in 2009.

Cllr Sue Ballard is the deputy leader of the Liberal Democrat opposition.

She said: ‘Ideally we wouldn’t want to see the police station shut at all.

‘But we do need to keep the police in Gosport.

‘If sharing resources means using the town hall for that then that would be a good use of resources.

‘We need the police to be based in Gosport for a fast response.’

A spokeswoman said the force is reviewing all of its stations, the station is not on the market and no decision has been made.

The force would not release details about the value or usage of the station.