Nottinghamshire Police and crime commissioner Paddy Tipping hit back in row over the re-location of Newark Police Station
If Newark’s police station does not relocate to the district council’s HQ at Castle House, there is a risk there won’t be one.
The message was part of the response to the Conservative candidate for the Police and Crime Commissioner job in the May election, Caroline Henry, who said that would oppose the decision and undertake a full public consultation.
The relocation of the £7m purpose-built police station from Queens Road to Castle House has proved unpopular with Advertiser readers on Facebook with the story attracting 100 comments.
It has been made possible through the government’s Towns Fund allocation of £25m and receives a £1m contribution. The current police station opened in 2007.
Nottinghamshire Police and the sitting commissioner Mr Tipping said said a public consultation exercise was carried out by Newark and Sherwood Council along with a number of engagement activities with residents of all ages ahead of submission of the bid.
“The principle of council and police co-location has already been successfully implemented in areas across the country in a bid to help cut crime and increase police presence, while reducing upkeep costs of a large and underused property,” they said.
“If the police station is not relocated, there is a risk of having no police station in Newark at all.”
Caroline Henry said: “This is a perfectly decent building, the closure of which the force admit will only save £100,000 a year.
“Moving it to the other side of a train barrier which is regularly closed for long periods of time beggars belief.
“Crime has risen 35% in Newark since the current commissioner was elected, and Newark has lost its custody suite and now its entire police station.
“It’s not acceptable and Newark must not be ignored any longer. If Paddy Tipping won’t consult the people of Newark, I will.”
“The government agreed to the £25m project having seen all the plans in it, which included the relocation of the police station and no concerns were raised about this.
They said response times would not suffer through the re-location, that officers needed to spend less time behind a desk through the advancement of technology allowing them to be out on the road more serving communities and the existing station was no longer fit for purpose.
“Officers are all over the patch as residents expect them to be,” they said.
“Services in Newark have increased as there are now more officers rather than less in the town as a result of the Operation Reacher teams. This has seen a significant drop in local crime as a result of this move.
“The public will get exactly the same level of service as before, and will benefit from an enhanced level of service which the co-location of public sector workers will bring.”
The statement said crime in Newark and Sherwood had dropped by 16.89% in figures verified by ONS.
“Policing is about a targeted response which is a combination of neighbourhood response, operational support, and Op Reacher. Officers are never just in one site behind a railway line.
“There will be no difference in police response times and there will be no detrimental impact for the public as a result of this relocation,” it said.
“If they (the savings quoted) refer to running costs, these represent only a small financial element of keeping the station.”
On Facebook, reader Will Smith said: “They haven’t been in their new premises that long and I don’t believe for one minute more officers would be on the street if they moved.
“There are so many better ways to spend money when the police already have a state-of-the-art station.”
Tez Stafford said: “It doesn’t make a lot of sense to have 99% of Newark on one side of the level crossing and the police station on the other.”
Pauline Lowe said: “It is scandalous. All the money has been wasted on this building. What happens at the crossing when they can’t get to the other side?”
Emily Layton said: “Wasn’t the point of the new huge new expensive building so we could have more police officers in Newark in the first place?”
Chris Long, said: “No foresight at all. It is a total waste of money.”
“Lets see what happens in a few years.
“I guess they will be looking at turning the old building into housing now.”
Article originally appeared on Newark Advertiser
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