HAMPSHIRE police is to spend £83m on a programme which will see the force make full use of its Alpha Park site near Eastleigh.
Hampshire Police Authority – which holds the purse strings for local policing – has approved plans in the force’s updated Estates Development Programme to use the site for ‘operational support’.
It had previously decided part of the site, bought in 2009 for £9m, would be sold as police battle to save £54m by April 2015. Now Alpha Park will be fully utilised.
The force will push forward plans for four new custody centres, to be known as police investigation centres.
Police say the plan is ‘cost neutral,’ and in five years’ time, maintaining its estate will cost almost £200,000 less annually, with better buildings.
Savings will come from selling the force’s Winchester headquarters, which are not considered fit for purpose, and other unsuitable buildings – slashing the total from 103 to 66.
Chief Constable Alex Marshall said: ‘The priorities for me are about having good custody provision to allow us to investigate crime successfully.
‘We know that if we can put the teams of investigators and detectives where they can investigate serious crime quickly, we’re more likely to have success, and we’re more likely to have uniformed officers back out in their areas.’
Alpha Park will house armed response vehicles, IT, the force enquiry centre and central workshops.
Seized vehicles will be stored there to save cash.
It will be home to 600 workers, instead of the previously planned 200.
Meanwhile members approved the purchase and refurbishment of Mottisfont Court in Winchester as the force’s new headquarters.
Police and crime commissioner could review plans
THE decision to approve a revised estates programme for Hampshire police
has been welcomed by senior officers – but it still faces further scrutiny.
Hampshire Police Authority members’ approval of plans to restructure its estate was the organisation’s last major decision on the future of policing in our area before it is abolished in Novembers.
From November 22, the newly-elected police and crime commissioner (PCC) for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight will take charge of the force’s purse strings.
The PCC will have powers to review the decision.
To find out more about the upcoming police and crime commissioner election and post in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight visit The Cascades shopping centre in Portsmouth tomorrow where a roadshow will be held.