Halstead police station to be sold off due to cuts

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Halstead police station is to be placed on the open market for sale as Essex Police and the Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex continue to reduce the size of the existing estate.

The front counter of the station in Trinity Street, Halstead was closed to the public in March this year and the building was formally vacated and closed in August.

The station is one of several to be sold as the estate is reduced from 80 to approximately 30 buildings.

The current police estate in Essex costs £10million a year in running costs but the buildings would require £30million of maintenance work to bring them up to standard. Essex Police says this money can be better invested in fighting and preventing crime more effectively.

Residents wishing to visit a police station in person can do so in Braintree which provides a front counter service from 9am to 5pm seven days a week.

Chief Inspector Craig Carrington, district commander for Braintree and Uttlesford, said: “I understand that people are attached to their police stations as they are an important part of the community.

“However the reality is many of our police stations are under-used by the public, are ageing, in a poor state of repair and are no longer fit for the needs of a modern police force.

“Halstead will continue to be policed by dedicated officers who will respond to emergencies, investigate crimes, work to resolve local problems and work alongside partners to protect people from harm and prevent crime occurring.”

Roger Hirst, Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said: “I am committed to continuing to drive the modernisation of Essex Police stations and buildings ensuring that any money raised through this process is used primarily to help deliver more local, accessible and visible policing, a priority in my new Police and Crime Plan.

“I understand the attachment communities have to their local police stations but research showed that, in two separate months, only four people visited Halstead police station to report a crime. This is not the best use of police resources.

“If you are the victim of, or witness, a crime in progress, you should always call 999. For non-emergency incidents, you can call 101 or use the new Essex Police website to report details online.”

Research carried out over two separate months showed 259 people visited Halstead’s front counter and of those only four people visited to report a crime. This compares with Braintree which received 2,460 visits during the same period.