Deal on new police hub needs to be signed soon

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It’s no secret that our police force is strapped for cash and resources are stretched.

Numbers of officers have dropped and hours that police stations are open to the public have been slashed, if not removed altogether.

That’s not to mention the stations that have already been completely closed.

Bemoaning their loss now would be very much to close the door after the horses have long-since bolted.

And with the closure of Fratton and Portsmouth Central police stations on the cards to make way for a new hub, it would seem their end is nigh, too.

The hub will give a home to many of the departments that are currently based not only in Portsmouth, but also Fareham, Gosport and Havant.

One hundred days into his tenure as police and crime commissioner Michael Lane has told The News he is committed to creating a new policing hub for the region in Portsmouth.

Previous commissioner Simon Hayes, a keen advocate of the idea, ditched plans to build the hub in Havant.

But however this works out, the creation of this new £18m police investigation centre (PIC) is still some time from being a reality.

There is apparently a preferred site in the city, not that Mr Lane would reveal its location. But he did say that a deal has yet to be signed.

It is all well and good saying that it is important to make sure we have a location for the centre in the city – and it is – rather than rush it. But conversely we need to make sure that the situation is not allowed to drag and fester.

There needs to be clarity over the future of policing in our region. Delays do not inspire confidence.

With the closure of other stations pending, the public deserves to know how it is going to be policed – and sooner rather than later.