Police officers will get new base in Hayling library

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ISLANDERS have welcomed their local beat officers relocating to a library.

It comes as an open meeting has been organised to inform the public about the closure of Hayling Island’s police station in South Road.

Officers in Hayling’s Safer Neighbourhood Team will move to the library in Elm Grove in the next few months.

The station was manned from 4pm to 8pm until a couple of years ago, but people now have to report crimes by phone or at the front desk at Havant police station.

Beat officers were still based at the station when not on patrol, but their permanent base will be the library.

It is understood the station will be sold off.

The changes come front desks have been closed in Cosham, Fratton, Waterlooville, and Petersfield as Hampshire police battles to save £54m.

But Jan Mitchell, area coordinator for neighbourhood watch, said: ‘They will be more central.

‘They are not very accessible in South Road. I think it will be a positive thing and will bring them more into the community.’

Hayling Councillor Andy Lenaghan said: ‘I have no problems with it going to the library.

‘The station at the moment is tucked away.

There’s no front office anymore so it really doesn’t make a lot of difference.

‘The only thing I’m not sure about is the reason they were moving was to a financial saving. The cost of the move could be more expensive than they thought.’

A police statement said the meeting had been arranged ‘to provide reassurance that police will remain visible in the heart of the community’.

Chief Inspector Rob Heath, acting director of estate development programme, said: ‘We are policing in a time in which mobile technology allows officers and staff to work out of various locations, alongside our partners.

‘We already have a number of officers in the force successfully working from alternative locations, such as at schools, supermarkets and fire stations.’

The meeting takes place at The Bridge Centre, Beach Road, between 6.30pm and 8pm on March 27.

Anyone wishing to attend should confirm by email to julie.knight@hampshire.pnn.police.uk or call Shirley Semke on (023) 8067 0994.