Fareham could be left without police presence as council issues force ultimatum

  • Council tells force neighbourhood teams to move to offices or lose space
  • Force was due to move officers in last year after signing deal in 2015
  • Michael Lane says cost to move into new offices has increased
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MOVE your officers in or you will have nowhere to go.

That is the message to Hampshire police’s Fareham neighbourhood teams after doubts emerged over whether they would be able to move into the borough council‘s civic offices.

Unless they get their act together, they will have nowhere to go

Councillor Sean Woodward, leader of Fareham Borough Council

The force secured a deal to move in back in summer 2015, with Fareham police station to close its doors in 2019.

But, the council has now issued the force with an ultimatum – move in by the end of next month or they will give the space to another tenant.

Council leader Sean Woodward said: ‘Unless they get their act together, they will have nowhere to go.

‘They were supposed to move in a year ago but instead they have 
continuously delayed the move and now we are in a position where it is now or never.

‘We will not allow this to continue and have other tenants that could move in here in a flash. I urge them to make their mind up.’

Councillor Trevor Cartwright, the council’s head of public protection, added: ‘Enough is enough. The deal was signed two years ago and now we haven’t heard from them for a month.’

The teams in Fareham West, Fareham East and Portchester have been set to move, with the station’s other staff moving to the new Police Investigation Centre in Portsmouth. Fareham’s station would be sold for housing.

Michael Lane, Hampshire’s police and crime commissioner, said the cost of the proposed move had increased.

He said: ‘This has been a long journey – frustrating to us all. Unfortunately the costs are considerably higher than initially agreed when we first started working with the team.

‘My estates team is currently carrying out an analysis of the revised proposal with a view to confirming in the near future that there is a viable option to proceed.’

In response to the costs being higher, Cllr Woodward added: ‘The costs are higher because the deal was agreed two years ago and the cost of construction has increased.’