Portsmouth police left sweltering in 26C heat as station heating can't be turned off
SWELTERING police were left baking in the heat as temperatures reached 26C - because the heating was stuck on.
Officers and staff at Portsmouth Central station were subjected to the unneeded extra warmth yesterday.
An inspector trying to get the central heating off was left at their ‘wit’s end’ in frustration with the situation.
The station had been due for closure when the new police investigation centre in Copnor opened in 2019 but has remained in use.
Officers deployed away from the city, including at the G7 summit in Cornwall, for the Euros and protests, are already feeling ‘close to burn out,’ Hampshire Police Federation has said.
Secretary Garry Smith said visits to stations across Hampshire have ‘shown a total lack of compassion for an officer’s workplace and space’.
He added this included ‘inadequate toilets, lack of facilities to poor décor and office furniture’.
In relation to heating at Portsmouth Central he tweeted: ‘On a visit to a station in Portsmouth the heating was on.
‘Can’t turn it off and inspector trying to resolve it is at wits end trying to get it turned off!’
He told The News: ‘At a time when members are feeling the stretch with un-lock, business as usual as well as policing the Euros, G7, spontaneous events/protest our members have said they don’t feel the constabulary care about their work environment.
‘They are close to burn out and to return to a hot, poorly maintained workplace to complete reports, prosecution files in serving the public they are close to breaking point thus risk making the thin blue line even thinner.
‘We will be raising these issues with the PCCs office who manage the estate but fear any action will be slow and too late.’
Hampshire police and crime commissioner Donna Jones has responsibility for estates at the force.
She has said she will meet with the federation about the condition of stations.
The organisation represents rank-and-file officers.
Ms Jones said: ‘Police stations are work places, and of course I want to provide every officer with a good working environment.
‘The Constabulary spends quite a bit on real estate, including £80m on three state of art Police Investigation Centres over the past decade.
‘That doesn’t mean that everything is perfect, and that is why we are reviewing the estates’ strategy.’
In a statement her office added: ‘We liaise continuously with police officers and staff, and continue to work proactively with our partners where we have conjoined police estate, including the Ministry of Justice at Portsmouth Central, to enable fit for purpose estate to support the policing function across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.’