The Sussex police and crime commissioner and chief constable have unveiled plans for police buildings that will improve the accessibility and visibility of neighbourhood policing.
Over the next five years, a plan is being introduced following a review of more than 100 force buildings.
The force said it had identified 30 sites where buildings were in the wrong place, under-used or in poor repair, and could be moved to alternative nearby locations. They include police stations at Horsham, Pulborough, and Steyning.
Unveiling the plans on Tuesday, June 25, Sussex police and crime commissioner, Katy Bourne, said: “We’ve conducted a complete review to ensure the Sussex police estate is fit for purpose and fit for the future.
“In the 21st century people access police services in many different ways and so we are looking to reduce the number of out-dated and expensive police stations. We will replace them with community hubs and public contact points where a number of public services can be accessed in one location, like the example in Broadfield Library in Crawley and the Town Hall in Hove. It is about putting policing back at the heart of the community.
“The five year plan is about making the best use of our resources and ensuring we have buildings that maximise the use of technology and are easily accessible for the public.”
The estate has been reviewed as part of wider plans to modernise the force to improve service whilst making significant financial savings – £50 million by 2015 – as set by the Government. Sussex police has considered all the different areas of policing and how to provide the same or better service but to do so in a different way at less cost.
Chief constable Martin Richards said: “Many people are attached to our traditional police stations, but they’re often not convenient for people to get to.
“People have told us they want to see more of their neighbourhood policing team out in their community and to be able to talk to them at a convenient location, rather than having to travel to a police station and waiting to see someone at the front counter.”