Police plan for station closures
Devon and Cornwall Police plans to close police stations and offices across Devon and Cornwall in the next five years as the Force strives to save £29m from its current budget.
In most cases closures would lead to the building of smaller, more cost effective facilities, or see police teams sharing facilities within their communities. Most of the sites being closed are not currently open to the public.
The closures or lease surrenders would make revenue savings of at least £1.053m a year.
Faced with the next round of budget cuts under the Government’s comprehensive spending review – and with the threat of further financial losses from the Home Office’s unfavourable funding formula, Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Hogg and Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer will have no option but to look even harder at the Force’s estate in the future.
Andrew White, chief executive for the PCC, said: “Both the commissioner and chief constable are clear - given the choice they always prefer to spend money on police officers rather than bricks and mortar.
“For some months we have been considering how best to reduce our estate, to reduce costs and create income whilst still maintaining an effective base for operational policing.
“We had hoped to undertake local communications at each location before making this announcement but, as staff at certain locations are being informed of plans, it was fair and transparent to publish the full list.
“The commissioner has spoken openly about plans to mitigate the next wave of Government cuts and how savings could be made.
“Until recently the plans were based on us having to make £29m worth of savings but we are now expected to make an additional £25m savings – bringing the total to £54m.
“This makes it unavoidable that we look once again at our estate.
“We are comfortable that the plans announced today will have little impact on operational delivery but, if £54m cuts become a reality, I would expect this will mean closures of other sites and a significant reduction in the services that can be delivered.
“We continue to strive to gain as much value out of our estate as possible. This includes our plans to develop unused real estate for sale or rental as opposed to disposing of sites to commercial developers.
“We will look at many of the sites on this list to see if we can get a higher rate of return by developing them ourselves.”
Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer said: “As a Force we face challenging budget reductions set by the government and the subsequent need to reduce our workforce over the next four years. It is only right that we review our estates and only keep those buildings that are not in need of significant modernisation and those needed to ensure we can continue to deliver a professional police service.
“We are planning for the future by dispensing with buildings which are costly in terms of maintenance while investing in newer and more efficient premises where needed.
“We are not removing ourselves from our communities, we are being more efficient and organised around where we base our people to ensure we continue to deliver the best service we can. Police officers and staff solve crime and keep our communities safe, not buildings.
“The vast majority of frontline officers already spend their time out in communities either responding to incidents or engaging with the public. Our police stations are primarily used as a base for officers to work where they can carry out administrative duties, receive briefings and access welfare and hygiene facilities.”
The PCC is currently preparing to launch a public consultation about how much people would be prepared to pay towards policing through their council tax.
The chief constable is also planning to ask the public about the nature of policing delivery in the future.
The offices contained on this list detail the planned changes to the police estate over the next five years.
Barnstaple West Pilton - Police office closure – lease surrender – relocation to existing estate
Bovey Tracey - Police office closure – lease surrender and relocation to Newton Abbot
Callington - Police station closure – provision of community base in council office
Dartmouth - Police station closure – provision of community base
Exeter - Multi-Agency Services Hub - Lease surrender – relocation to County Hall and existing Exeter estate
Exeter – leased unit - Lease surrender – relocation to existing Exeter estate
Liskeard - Provision of replacement police station – potential tri-service location
OPCC office move - Lease surrender – relocation to HQ
Plympton vehicle workshop - Partnership co-location with city council and relocation of other functions to existing Plymouth and Plympton estate
St Blazey - Police station sale – provision of community base co-located with town council
Torpoint - Police station closure – provision of community base
Beacon Park - Police station closure – relocation to existing estate
Braunton - Police station sale – provision of community base co-located with town council
Camborne traffic centre - Options include relocation to existing estate and potential partnership co-location
Crediton - Police station closure – provision of neighbourhood team base
Dawlish shop front - Lease surrender – relocation to Teignmouth
Holsworthy - Police station closure – provision of neighbourhood team or community base
Ilfracombe - Provision of replacement police station – tri-service opportunity
Redruth - Lease surrender – provision of community base
Seaton - Lease surrender – potential provision of community base
Torrington - Police station closure - provision of neighbourhood team base or a community base
Truro shop front - Lease surrender – partnership co-location and relocation to Truro station
Exeter - Heavitree Road - Police station closure - provision of neighbourhood team base following south side development of Middlemoor and relocation of staff
Exmouth - Provision of replacement police station
Looe - Police station closure - provision of neighbourhood team base
Plymouth property store - Lease surrender and provision of new central store
St Ives - Police station closure – provision of community base
Wadebridge - Police station closure – provision of neighbourhood team base
Bude - Police station closure – provision of neighbourhood team base
Helston - Police station closure – provision of neighbourhood team base
Okehampton - Police station closure – provision of neighbourhood team base
Launceston - Police station closure – Provision of replacement police station (dependent on review of custody provision in Cornwall)
Ivybridge - Police station closure – Provision of replacement police facility
Plympton - Police station closure – provision of neighbourhood team base
A neighbourhood team base will provide:
- A locker room for the neighbourhood team (sometimes a shared space with partners);
- Access to welfare facilities including a toilet, a shower and a meals room / food preparation area (often shared space with partners);
- A small quiet room/informal interview space (sometimes a shared space with partners);
- An office (sized dependent on use) that has IT provision enabling access to the Force network which is generally a secure area for exclusive police use;
- A designated car parking space for an operational vehicle (sometimes two).
Where possible, these facilities will be co-located in a public sector partnership building.
The neighbourhood team will deploy from the base.
A community base is much smaller in size and it will provide: A small office, that may have IT provision enabling access to the Force network;
- This space will have exclusive possession where possible, but sometimes it will be located in open plan when co-located with other public sector partners;
- Access to toilet facilities and a kitchenette area;
- A car parking space for an operational vehicle will be provided where possible, but that is not always achievable depending upon the options available.
Where possible, these facilities will be co-located in a public sector partnership building. They are designed to be a “drop in facility” and as such locker, shower and a quiet room are not provided because it is not expected that the officers will use this as their main base.