Police stations up for sale amid cuts

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WARSOP police station and five other force community offices will shut for good under cost-cutting plans announced this week.

Senior officers revealed the station at Warsop will be decommissioned and sold if the idea is approved by Nottinghamshire Police Authority today.

Police chiefs say the sites are under-used and have insisted they are not moving away from communities.

Besides Warsop, the force wants to dispose of smaller community offices at Cross Street in Bilsthorpe, plus Barrowhill Walk, Hickling Walk, Shireoaks Court and William Kaye Hall, all in Mansfield.

Police officers will instead move into town halls, community centres and other police stations.

Local leaders said while they understood the move, it was important officers kept their promises to remain accessible.

“Obviously we are disappointed,” said Warsop parish councillor John Kerr.

“However, there are other facilities available including the town hall which could be ideal.

“We can understand the reasons; they are having to this because of the Government.”

Warsop’s station has not had a front desk service since staffing issues led it to close to the public in October last year.

All the other sites are primarily offices or accessible to the public by appointment or at very limited times.

Assistant Chief Constable Paul Scarrott said: “As a result of the estates review, we have identified some sites which are no longer value for money.

“We intend to close these and co-locate officers into council buildings or shops.

“This will bring our service closer to communities with little or no financial on-cost to the force.”

Six other sites elsewhere in the county are included in the plans. More stations could close in future, as the scheme is only in its first phase.

A force spokesman added the sale of the Warsop site is expected to generate roughly £80,000, with Bilsthorpe valued at around £100,000. The rest of the local sites are rented.

Added Coun Kerr: “Nobody wants to make or see these changes and the police are trying to preserve as much of a frontline presence as possible.”

Nottinghamshire Police Authority, which monitors the force’s performance, said it accepted the closure of under-used stations but would be closely monitoring any further phases of the plan.

Authority member Alan Street said: “I was not surprised by the list of stations and would’ve been concerned if it included any that are well-used.

“We have a station in Mansfield and a new one in Mansfield Woodhouse but I don’t see either closing and have not seen evidence to suggest otherwise.”