Dominic Bareham, senior reporter
Friday, December 7, 2012
Police in a north Suffolk town will be working from a new office from Monday and the move has been welcomed by the town’s Mayor.
Merlin Carr, mayor of Eye, welcomed the decision to move the town’s police team from the current station in Victoria Hill to a new self-contained office in the grounds of Hartismere Hospital because he believed the new station would be closer to the town centre and more easily accessible for residents who had to walk up a hill to get to the Victoria Hill station.
He added: “I think it will bring the protection services closer together, particularly the police, health services and doctors and it may encourage people more than going up the hill to the current station.”
The police will be moving into The Lodge at the hospital, which reopened on June 30 as a health and care centre following a £1.5m refurbishment.
The existing station will be sold along with two houses adjacent to the premises, which are owned by the police and have stood empty for 16 years. Cash from the sale of the buildings will go to the police, which is looking to lower the costs of premises to avoid having to cut front line officers.
In July, David McDonnell, chief supt of estates delivery with Suffolk police, said: “The new office is close to the current police station and will be open to the public for the same hours as at present. The move will not affect the number of officers working in Eye or the policing of the town.
“Sharing buildings with our partners is a practical option in the current financial climate. It can provide us with quality accommodation while saving us money and maintaining our presence in communities across the county.”
Tim Passmore, who was elected as Suffolk’s first police and crime commissioner on November 15, said: “We face many financial challenges ahead, and our public service partners are in the same difficult position, so it makes perfect sense for us to look to see where we work together to make savings.
“By working together and looking at new ways of providing our services we can continue to provide excellent services to the people of Suffolk in the heart of the communities in which they live.”