New era for police as Midhurst Police Station is set to close

Policeman on the beat on Midhurst
Policeman on the beat on Midhurst

MIDHURST Police Station is set to be replaced with a base at the new Grange Centre as part of a new five-year plan for Sussex policing.

It is one of a number of stations across the county which will close and be replaced by a ‘public contact point’ and ‘neighbourhood policing base’.

Police say members of the public will be able to access front counter services at the contact point and police teams will also work there.

At Petworth police are set to be based in another ‘neighbourhood policing base’ which will be also be shared with other community facilities.

It is understood the new Midhurst police base is set to be developed at the back of the new Grange development.

Cllr Eileen Lintill, Chichester District Council’s cabinet member for community services said: “We are really pleased Sussex Police is considering joining the project, which already includes a leisure centre, community facilities, library, registrar room, bar, café and customer services. We hope very much our negotiations lead to a successful outcome.”

The move comes less than three years after Midhurst town councillors sought an assurance the town’s police station would not be threatened by the need to cut costs.

They voiced their concerns in November 2010 in the wake of an announcement from Sussex Chief Constable Martin Richards that tough decisions including the axing of more than 1,000 frontline policing jobs would have to be made.

Petworth suffered the loss of its police station just over two years ago.

The new £650,000 police station was opened in February 2008. But in 2011 it was closed for members of the public and officers are now available by appointment only.

Unveiling their new plans for police buildings Sussex police and crime commissioner Katy Bourne and chief constable Martin Richards say the aim is to ‘improve the accessibility and visibility of neighbourhood policing’.

The five-year plan is being introduced following a review of more than 100 police buildings.

“People now access police services in many different ways and so we are looking to reduce the number of out-dated and expensive police stations,” said Katy Bourne.

“We will replace them with community hubs and public contact points where a number of public services can be accessed.”

“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.

Chief Constable Martin Richards added: “With the opening of community hubs and public contact points, officers will play a more visibl