Hampshire Constabulary have announced that Eastleigh Police Station will be closed to the public from tomorrow, Monday (May 21) and that Portswood Police Station will the nearest station open for personal enquiries – a 1 hour 14 minute walk away.
The closure comes as research undertaken by BBC TV news programme Panorama revealed last week that recorded crime in Eastleigh has risen by 35% over the last three years while the number charges brought over the same period has decreased by 21%. Both figures are worse than the national averages which record an increase in crime of 21% and a 11% drop in charges.
In 2012 Hedge End Police station closed its doors to the public as a cost-cutting measure and Hedge End residents who needed to produce documents or wanted to speak to an officer in person were advised to travel to Eastleigh Station- they will now have even further to travel.
When plans were first announced in 2014 regarding the future of Eastleigh Police Station local Ukip activists staged a protest. Responding, the Police and Crime Commissioner at the time, Simon Hayes, told Eastleigh News that there would still be a public facing presence in the town centre after the front office closed and Eastleigh News learned that it could possibly have been in the form of a counter in the council offices or in a shop but the recent announcement would suggest these plans have been abandoned.
It’s not known how many civilian jobs will lost or what the cost saving will be as a result of the closure.