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Police in talks to shut station in bid to make savings

FAREHAM looks set to lose its town centre police station as the police try to make huge savings by selling off property in their portfolio.

Hampshire Constabulary is in discussions with the council to move its Safer Neighbourhood Team into the Civic Offices.

It will also move its custody cells to Portsmouth and will base its cars out on the road, similar to how paramedics currently operate.

Fareham’s council leader Sean Woodward welcomed the move by police to share office space but raised concerns about the removal of custody cells from the town.

He said: ‘I do have significant concerns about the custody going off to Portsmouth.

‘It is going to be very difficult for Fareham, Gosport and Havant if they have officers going to Portsmouth, which could take a long time.

‘We thought that the best site for the area would be at Junction 11 as it could serve Hampshire well but I am disappointed that it is not being considered.’

Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Hayes said Fareham and Gosport police stations would be part of the constabulary’s estate review in October, when further meetings will be held as to the stations’ fate.

He also said by removing the custody units from Fareham and Gosport, it could create superhub of 32 cells in Portsmouth which would drastically bring down the price of processing someone.

Mr Hayes said that at the moment, it costs £500 per person to process someone at a police station as they need to have resources ready 24/7.

The new superhub would bring this cost down to 
£200.

He stressed that by moving the Safer Neighbourhood Team in with the council, it would ensure they were central to their community and make accessing police services easier for more people, as the council offices have a higher footfall of people.

Shoppers in Fareham town centre yesterday were not so keen on the idea of losing the police station.

Bill Saunders, 45, of Fareham, said: ‘It’s silly really, we don’t see enough police as it is without them going to Portsmouth all the time.’

Melvin Derrick, 71, of Coniston Walk, said: ‘That’s mad, we’ve got to have some law enforcement in this town. We pay all this money on tax and they’re doing away with the police station, I think we are being ripped off.’

 

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