HAYLING Island police station is to be sold to save cash.
The front desk of the station, in South Road, will close from March 16 with the neighbourhood policing team continuing to be based there until the building is bought.
Waterlooville station’s front desk will also close leaving only Havant’s open.
Hampshire Constabulary has not confirmed where the Hayling officers will be based in the future but residents say they hope it will be in a more central location than the station is now.
Chief Inspector Alison Heydari said the closure will not affect the number of bobbies on the beat.
The decision to close the station was taken after only 23 enquiries were made over a two-week period in May last year, compared with 439 at the Havant office.
Only the neighbourhood policing team is based at the station with major incidents dealt with by officers in Havant.
Paul Fisher, chairman of Hayling Island Residents’ Association, said: ‘We saw it as inevitable because of the cut backs. A police shop or an office located in the centre of the community would be a step forward. Obviously we lament the loss of the front office but it was only open a few hours a week and was being used less and less.
‘South Road is now a residential street and we want the police office, in whatever form it takes, in either Mengham or Elm Grove.
‘We feel there should be some benefit to the community from the sell off but can’t see that happening.’
Chief Insp Alison Heydari said the public can still use yellow telephones on the outside walls of the stations providing a direct line to officers inside – until Hayling is sold off.
She added: ‘This building is not fit for modern policing and is not cost efficient. However, we will not be leaving this community and the sale won’t happen overnight.
‘No police station will relocate until an alternative base for the local Safer Neighbourhoods team within the community has been found.
‘We’re exploring opportunities to move to locations that are accessible to the public – such as council offices, libraries or supermarkets.
‘Just like now, officers will walk their beats and police their communities, and will be available for discussions and advice during beat surgeries and community meetings.’
Chief Insp Heydari added: ‘Police are never complacent in wanting to maintain an active presence in every neighbourhood.’