Horsham, Steyning and Pulborough police stations set to close

JPCT S12370044X Horsham. Police Station -photo by Steve Cobb
JPCT S12370044X Horsham. Police Station -photo by Steve Cobb

Horsham, Steyning and Pulborough police stations are set to close under new plans outlined by the Sussex police and crime commissioner (PCC).

It follows a review of more than 100 Sussex Police buildings.

The force 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.

Other police stations - including Haywards Heath - will undergo redevelopment.

Katy Bourne, said: “We’ve conducted a complete review to ensure the Sussex Police estate is fit for purpose and fit for the future.

“In the 21st century people access police services in many different ways and so we are looking to reduce the number of out-dated and expensive police stations. We will replace them with community hubs and public contact points where a number of public services can be accessed in one location, like the example in Broadfield Library in Crawley and the Town Hall in Hove. It is about putting policing back at the heart of the community.

“The five year plan is about making the best use of our resources and ensuring we have buildings that maximise the use of technology and are easily accessible for the public. This may well mean investing in certain parts of the estate to ensure we fulfil the needs of the public.”

Sussex Police has worked in partnership with Crawley Borough Council and West Sussex County Council to create a community hub in Broadfield Library, which sees a permanent space for police, as well as separate office space and open-plan area for use by Crawley Borough Council and partner organisations.

Chief Constable Martin Richards said: “At Sussex Police we recognise that we need to keep pace with changes that are happening elsewhere in society so that we are fit to police not just now, not just in three years, but into the future. Increasingly people want to report crime and access other services online, which they can now do on our website, but we know this won’t work for everyone.

“Many people are attached to our traditional police stations, but they’re often not convenient for people to get to. People have told us they want to see more of their Neighbourhood Policing Team out in their community and to be able to talk to them at a convenient location, rather than having to travel to a police station and waiting to see someone at the front counter.

“With the opening of community hubs and public contact points, officers will play a more visible and accessible role in the community. People can expect a better service, as we’ll be working jointly with partners to identify and tackle any problems. Together the partner agencies get a full picture of what is happening and can draw on different expertise to help the community.

“We can offer the guarantee that where police stations provide a front counter service the Force will not take this away without providing an alternative way for people to contact us in person that matches or improves upon the existing service. In some areas this will mean there will be more places to drop in or make appointments to see us.”