The new police hub at Petworth Library has been officially opened as part of a ‘wide ranging’ review of its service by the Sussex force.
The move comes eight years after the new £650,000 police station was opened which took a year to build and was created by converting an unused Grade II listed building in Rosemary Lane.
Opening it in February 2008 the then Sussex police authority chairman Lionel Barnard said it was ‘fit for 21st century policing, enabling a clear and visible footprint for the delivery of neighbourhood policing in Petworth and beyond.’
Now the station has closed and is up for sale and contractors have carried out refurbishment work at Petworth library to accommodate the new police hub.
Chief Inspector Justin Burtenshaw, district policing commander for Chichester and Arun, said: “As fond as we are of the old police station in Rosemary Lane and its history, the simple facts are that it is not well placed and as an old building was becoming increasingly more expensive to maintain.”
“How we approach local policing is changing to meet the changing face of crime, which increasingly includes cybercrime, fraud and scams. This not only influences how we work, but where we work as well.
“How we police into the future will continue to change and adapt, but the focus at the heart of policing remains. This is to integrate effectively with the communities we serve to help the accessibility and visibility of the neighbourhood policing team (NPT) to increase public confidence and support those more vulnerable, whilst reducing crime.
Sussex police and crime commissioner Katy Bourne added: “The hub is in a better location, is more visible to residents, improves access to the community and provides better value for money. I will continue working hard to ensure no police building is closed until a better or suitable alternative has been put in its place.”
The NPT will use the hub for appointments and to offer advice and support. The library is open from 1pm-5pm Monday to Wednesday and 9am-1pm Thursday to Saturday. Officers can still be contacted out of hours online, by email and via 101. In an emergency dial 999.
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