Hampshire Police Authority agrees to close 18 stations

AXED Southsea Police Station in Highland Road
AXED Southsea Police Station in Highland Road
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EIGHTEEN police stations in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight will shut as the force battles to save £50m.

Hampshire Police Authority today backed plans to close more than a third of the constabulary’s buildings across the area - 39 in total - to cut costs.

Among them are the 18 police stations - including Southsea, Hayling Island and Petersfield.

Hampshire Constabulary will now review whether it needs buildings at Gunwharf Quays and Marine Parade in Portsmouth, Havant Victim Witness Interview Service, Portsmouth International Port and Crofton Community Centre in Stubbington.

Senior officers have vowed that no police station will shut until Safer Neighbourhood Teams have another suitable base in the area to work from.

Police could work from centres ranging from libraries to supermarkets and fire service or council buildings.

Already some officers share an office at the Guildhall with Portsmouth City Council.

And some police beat meetings are held in supermarkets or community centres across the city.

Chief constable Alex Marshall said: ‘Ultimately I value the people and what they can deliver out and about more than I can value the buildings.’

He added: ‘We will not close any operational police station until we have found alternative accommodation for local patrolling officers, the Safer Neighbourhood Teams.

‘One idea, talking to partners in the fire service, local authorities and local business - I see only enthusiasm for working jointly and making better use of public buildings.’

Hampshire Police Authority members also agreed by 11 votes to six to plans to be developed for four new custody centres in Fareham, Winchester, Hook and Newport.

Mr Marshall said: ‘We are not moving out of any community, we will remain in every community - there will be a police presence.

‘We will not be leaving, although we may move the building in which we operate.’