Force estates strategy review continues

Dorset Police and the Police and Crime Commissioner are continuing the review of the Force estate strategy, with a commitment to having an operational footprint in every principal town in the county.

The Force has been working in consultation with Christchurch Borough Council and Dorset County Council who are seeking alternative uses for the Bargates site. Christchurch Police Station is within this complex.

Chief Constable Debbie Simpson said: “Dorset Police have consented to working with the local authorities to explore alternative uses and development opportunities on this site. However any solution must include the continued provision for the police in a suitable location which continues to meet the operational needs of the town.

“By working with partners it is hoped that better use of public buildings can be achieved which will improve the police’s ability to support the public and concentrate resources on the frontline.

“It costs the Force £6.44m a year to run the Dorset Police estate and, while there will always be a requirement for specialist facilities such as custody suites, the review has established that we need to minimise our estate.

“The Force estate continues to be reviewed in order to meet the financial challenges and operational demands that the police face.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill reaffirmed that Christchurch Police Station had not been declared surplus to operational requirements: “There are undoubted opportunities to rationalise the estate to take advantage of developments in policing such as mobile data, improved communications and partnership working.

“I am pleased we are exploring all opportunities to work together to safeguard services in Christchurch and elsewhere.”

In the face of on-going cuts to the police budget, Dorset Police and the Police and Crime Commissioner continue to review and evaluate the Force’s estate to ensure buildings are optimised and they are in the best locations to meet operational demands.

Issued: 28 April 2014

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