The chair of the Sussex Police Federation has welcomed plans to close police stations but said it is a ‘cost-cutting measure the chief constable and the police and crime commissioner (PCC) have been forced into’.
The force announced yesterday (Tuesday June 25) that Horsham, Steyning and Pulborough police stations are set to close following a review of more than 100 Sussex Police buildings.
It has to save £50million by 2015.
Sussex Police has identified 30 sites across the county which ‘are not in the right location and are under-utilised or in a poor state of repair’ and could be moved to alternative nearby locations.
PCC Katy Bourne said that these will be replaced with community hubs and public contact points to enhance police presence.
Paul Sellings, chair of the Sussex Police Federation, told the County Times: “This one of a raft of cost-cutting measures which the chief constable and the PCC have been forced into, but it is a preferable option to cutting police staff.
“It’s a financially driven decision and one out of necessity because Sussex Police has got to save £50million.”
He branded the move ‘intelligent’ and explained during his days manning the public desk at Crawley Police Station that footfall would be low.
“The way people want to contact the police is changing,” he continued. “The police are still going to be contactable.
“The footfall into police stations isn’t what it used to be so when you’re looking at choices to save money this is an obvious area as opposed to cutting the amount of police officers.
“We’re behind the necessary changes and we were fully consulted.”