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Commissioner to consult public over police station closure plans


Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping is to involve the public with regard to a decision to close a Nottinghamshire police station, it was announced today. (Saturday, November 23)

The future of Mansfield Woodhouse Police Station has been uncertain since it was earmarked for possible closure as part of a review of Nottinghamshire Police’s estate. The Force has identified a number of cost-saving benefits to closing the premises including the release of significant capital and savings of approximately £50,000 per year in operating costs. It said plans to create an alternative facility for officers within a local community centre would maintain a strong police presence in the area and maximise the time officers can spend out on patrol, helping to boost feelings of safety.

Nottinghamshire Police has endorsed the closure plans but the decision is yet to be finalised by the Commissioner who is keen to gain the public’s perspective before moving forward.

“Listening to the public is one of my greatest responsibilities as Commissioner and I am keen to reassure residents that no final decision will be taken on this issue until they have been given an opportunity to communicate their views,” he said.

“These proposals have been drawn up in the interests of local taxpayers in a bid to use their hard-earned money more effectively so that the current financial pressures do not result in a deterioration of service levels. The unfortunate reality is that underused and empty buildings are costing the Force thousands of pounds every year – and people tell me they want bobbies not buildings.  This money could be better spent on additional police officers and PCSOs to maintain visibility in our communities. Tough choices need to be made as to how we can release vital funds to invest in the areas which will make our communities safer.

“I am open to all options in the pursuit of delivering high-quality, value for money policing. Closing police stations is not a decision to be taken lightly and is understandably met with anxiety among the public however we must protect our physical capacity and resilience at all costs to ensure we remain able to cope with the risks emerging within our communities.”

Divisional Commander Ak Khan added: “I am confident that in operational terms residents of Mansfield Woodhouse will continue to receive a high quality service from Nottinghamshire Police. While I accept that the financial imperative necessitates the closure of this local station, which is regrettable, residents will continue to receive services from Mansfield Police station whilst alternative facilities within the local community are explored.”

The review of Mansfield Woodhouse is part of an efficiency drive examining the Force estate which aims to save £2.4m over two years. Under the proposals, the current Safer Neighbourhood Team and CID would relocate to Mansfield Police Station – just two miles away – while a drop-in facility would be established in the centre of the community to enable officers to write statements, access Force systems and take rest breaks. This could possibly be located in Northfield Community Focus Centre on Vale Road in Mansfield Woodhouse – an area identified as a hotspot for antisocial behaviour which would benefit from the additional police presence.

The potential value of Mansfield Woodhouse Police Station is estimated to be in the region of £425,000 and its sale will deliver around £50,000 in annual revenue savings.

An information evening has been arranged by the Commissioner which will take place on Saturday 7 December, starting at 10.00am, at Turner Hall, Welbeck Road, Mansfield Woodhouse, NG19 9JY.  This will enable people to discuss the proposals and Commissioner Tipping is also due to launch a consultation exercise inviting residents to comment before a final decision is made. Members of the public have until December 31 to provide feedback on the plans.

Ends

Media Enquiries:   Sallie Blair - 01283 821012 / 07702 541401


Posted on Saturday 23rd November 2013
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