More than a third of Hampshire police buildings could be closed

CLOSING Southsea police station
CLOSING Southsea police station

Attacker followed his victim for a mile before assault in city alleyway

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MORE than a third of police buildings in Hampshire could shut as the force battles to save £50m.

Plans to axe 39 buildings across the area have been unveiled – including Southsea and Hayling Island police stations.

The force said it will also review whether it needs bases at Gunwharf Quays and Marine Parade in Portsmouth, Havant Victim Witness Interview Service, Portsmouth International Port and Crofton Community Centre in Stubbington.

It comes as Hampshire and Thames Valley police revealed plans to share some services which will see 119 officer posts axed across both forces.

John Apter, Hampshire Police Federation chairman, said: ‘Some of the buildings are now very old and cost a lot of money to maintain.

‘Many of them are converted and were not meant to be police stations – you are lucky to have a brilliant purpose-built police station in Southsea. Unfortunately it’s on the list of those which are closing.’

No stations will shut until police have another base in the area to work from.

Police could work from other centres including fire stations or even supermarkets. In total, 18 police stations are earmarked for closure across the county.

Deputy Chief Constable Andy Marsh said: ‘We are not leaving, we are moving. The officers will be based in communities they serve.

‘They will be the same officers [the public] are familiar with but they will be working from bases that are more cost-effective and in many cases will be in premises which are more accessible.’

The move follows a review of the force’s estates in the wake of the government spending cuts.

Tony Higham, from Hayling Island Residents’ Association, said: ‘We have had discussions with the police about moving the station to a more central location, such as the library.’

John Ling, Southsea Association chairman, is concerned in light of the new pedestrian zone planned for the south of Palmerston Road. He said: ‘The police do a fine job, but if we end up with another Guildhall Walk-type situation in Southsea I can see their resources being stretched very thin.’

Plans will be considered by Hampshire Police Authority on June 23.