Police and fire station opens as plans for old base revealed
PUBLISHED: 16:00 30 August 2019 | UPDATED: 16:43 30 August 2019
Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk
A town has regained its police presence with the opening of a new base, as plans to transform an old station into homes is revealed.
The police and fire station on Ravensmere, in Beccles, was opened yesterday by crime commissioner Tim Passmore and county councillor Richard Rout in front of members of the community, fellow police and firefighters as well local councillors.
The blue light integration programme has been ongoing since 2015 where shared police and fire stations have been set up to help save money from the public purse and make joint working more efficient.
So far, 11 bases have been established across the county.
Ahead of unveiling the plaque, Mr Passmore said: "This is the 11th joint police and fire stations in the county. It is a fantastic example of blue lights working together.
"I am already looking forward to the next wave of shared facilities being developed. I am very proud that Suffolk continues to lead the way nationally in blue light collaboration.
"The sale of Beccles' old police station completes on the same day as we officially open the new one. The old building will be converted into residential units in the coming months with apartments and new homes for the town. All proceeds from the sale are returned to Suffolk's policing budget."
On the opening, Beccles mayor Andrea Downes said: "It is really comforting to know we have a police presence back in Beccles. It is so lovely to see so many people here today."
Currently, the only ideas in development are the shared police and fire stations, but other emergency services in the county have said they would be open to discussions on Mr Passmore's vision for more joint working.
A spokesman from the East of England Ambulance Service said: "We already work closely with our blue light colleagues in the region and look forward to building on those relationships with closer collaboration in the future.
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"We see this as a very positive move and builds upon our existing partnership and represents value for money for taxpayers."
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