Police Commisioner axes Chandler’s Ford HQ plan

alpha park

Alpha Park had to be mothballed after recession struck

Hampshire’s new Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Hayes has today finally sealed the fate of the force’s £10 million white elephant HQ  on Chandler’s Ford Industrial Estate.

The former Police Authority had bought the Apha Park office complex  on Electron Way in 2008 for £9.6 million and has since spent a further £1.8 million on it.

The plan was to transfer the county police HQ t from its current location at West Hill in Winchester to Chandler’s Ford bringing 500 jobs with it into the borough.

The West Hill site was to be sold for housing development thereby subsidising the move – Eastleigh Borough Council are persuing a similar strategy by moving from their purpose built Civic Offices at Fleming Park to Eastleigh House.

However the recession effectively put paid to the Police Authority’s ambitious plan.

In 2011 the Police Authority put forward an alternative proposal to sell off part of the estate for £3 million and transfer some of the Constabularies services there at a cost of £9 million however refurbishment costs are now estimated to be over £15 million and the new PCC has swung the axe.

Since 2008 almost £10 million has been tied up in a derelict office – which has become a target for vandals – while the Hampshire force has had cope with cuts to their budget. As Alpha Park was bought at the height of the property boom in 2008 and commercial property values have fallen considerably since then, it is unlikely that the cost of purchase will be recouped.

alpha park

Hampshire police proposed HQ overgrown and forgotton

The announcement today is part of a series of measures to streamline the constabulary’s estate and to cut costs.

Other actions include:

– moving the current police HQ at west hill to a smaller HQ at Mottisfont Court in Winchester

– building two new Police Investigation Centres (PICs) in Basingstoke and Portsmouth to provide short term custodial care and support quicker processing of detainees

– building on successful partnerships with Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service and local councils enabling officers and staff to work from alternative locations such as at libraries and fire stations

– progressing with a programme of engagement with local people, to discuss moving Safer Neighbourhoods Teams (SNTs) into the heart of the communities they serve.

Eastleigh Police station

Eastleigh police station faces uncertain future but SNT stays put for now

A spokesman for Hampshire Constabulary  told Eastleigh News it was not anticipated that Eastleigh’s Safer Neighbourhoods Team would be relocated from the town’s Police Station although redevelopment of the Leigh Road site – there were proposals to sell off part of the site for housing – was still a possibility. All options could still to be considered.

Simon Hayes

Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire, Simon Hayes said:

“Today is about a new direction and building the right foundations for the future.

“That means getting rid of back office buildings that we don’t need and investing in new facilities and partnerships that will help us to make Hampshire and the Isle of Wight safer places

“We will announce more when we have greater clarity on public finances and as the chief constable develops his operational plans but we now have certainty on the big decisions that will allow us to get rid of unnecessary buildings that cost the public money.”

Commenting on Mr Hayes’ decision, Hampshire Constabulary’s Chief Constable Andy Marsh said:

“Having the right buildings is key to a more effective and efficient police force – one that puts victims, witnesses and the community at the heart of policing.

“This will help to meet the needs of police officers and staff for generations to come, reducing long term costs and enabling us to build on the success that we have had in reducing crime in recent years.”

  2 comments for “Police Commisioner axes Chandler’s Ford HQ plan

  1. May 23, 2013 at 1:29 am

    Ello, Ello Ello. And whats all this then my lad..??

    I just love this kind of double speak that both Hampshire Police and the new PCC for Hampshire are using.

    “- building two new Police Investigation Centres (PICs) in Basingstoke and Portsmouth to provide short term custodial care..”

    What this really means is having more space to BANGUP mental health sufferers when they come to the attention of the police. Not for breaking any laws I must point out, no just for being unwell. They are allowed to hold someone with a mental health problem for 72 hours (3 Days), in a police cell without bringing them before a judge. However, if you are not a mental health sufferer but just a local scally wag, the longest they can hold you in custody without bringing you before a Judge is 36 hours. That’s 24 hours under the PACE rules and a further 12 hours if the local Inspector does not like the cut of your jib.

    Now that the police have powers to lockup, at will, those people who are unwell, will they next be looking to have more space and more public funds to lockup people missing limbs or even perhaps old people with hearing problems.

    You can judge a community by the way it looks after its ill and needy citizens. Hampshire Police’s way is to bang them up in a dark dank cell for 3 days and hope people do not miss them.!

    Reminds me of a Monty Python Sketch. “Nail them up I say..!!” Just replace the word Romans with, well you can do the rest.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8EI7p2p1QJI

    Happy Christmas all.

  2. Pete Stewart
    May 23, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    So! It’s come down to this for our fire, police and ambulance workers!

    To save money, the powers that be are talking about:

    “building on successful partnerships with Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service and local councils enabling officers and staff to work from alternative locations such as at libraries and fire stations”.

    To save even more money, why not fix a vandal proof desk in every lay-by?

    To save even MORE money, I’ve got a little potting shed in the garden they could work from. It’s a bit cold in the winter and there’s room for only one at a time (or four, if they stand up). That would REALLY cut costs. Nice, central location too.

    Can this really be happening to EU-Britain 2013? As they used to say in East Germany before the wall came down: Nix geht (nothing works).

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