Windsor police station will close in cost-cutting measures
Published: 2 Apr 2013 07:300 comments
Thames Valley Police (TVP) announced on Wednesday, that the police station in Alma Road would be sold off within the next four years - and the search has begun for an alternative site to offer a cutback service in the town.
The force is hoping to save £2.1m by streamlining premises across the Thames Valley, which equates to 45 police officers.
Deputy chief constable Francis Habgood said: "Windsor needs quite a lot of capital investment to get it up to standard, so instead we're going to look for an alternative location. This whole thing is about trying to protect frontline services."
DCC Habgood added that any money made from selling Windsor Police Station was likely to be invested back into the new station as premises capable of providing front-counter services in the town were 'at a premium'.
No potential sites have yet been identified, but TVP are in talks with the Royal Borough and the fire service about sharing premises.
A front counter service will remain in the town, as will the neighbourhood officers and patrol teams, but the control room and public protection unit will be relocated.
DCC Habgood said he could not predict future job cuts at the station, but reiterated the force's commitment to maintain effective frontline services. The station will remain open until new premises have been found, and there will be no gap between moving out of the current station and into the new one.
Royal Borough council leader cllr David Burbage said: "We have a commitment to increase police
station opening hours and make them more accessible.
"We'd look seriously at any changes. They should be for the benefit rather than detriment of our residents."
Cllr Eileen Quick, lead member for Windsor, added: "Ideally, I would like them to stay in their present station because it's easily accessible and everyone knows where it is.
"If they have to move, it's very important that they move somewhere highly visible."
Cllr Jesse Grey, the Royal Borough's representative on the Thames Valley police and crime panel, found out about the decision on Friday last week having said earlier this month there was 'no intention' to close the station.
He said: "Policing has changed completely - perhaps police stations are a thing of the past."