Centenary House in Durrington is to be replaced in plans unveiled today by The Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne and Chief Constable Martin Richards. The revealed plans for police buildings will improve the accessibility and visibility of neighbourhood policing.
The building will be replaced with a modern and flexible facility, ideally located with partners. This will provide opportunities for teams to work more collaboratively with partners, in particular those who work regularly together in safeguarding vulnerable adults and children.
Over the next five years Sussex Police will be strengthening the role of Neighbourhood Policing Teams (NPTs) by introducing further local bases for officers out in the community and improving the Force’s use of technology.
The five year plan is being introduced following a review of more than 100 buildings to look at how Sussex Police can improve service whilst making savings.
In the past, almost all policing functions were carried out from local police stations, but this has changed with operational policing now being carried out by teams based in a wide range of locations across Sussex and people accessing services in different ways.
Chief Constable Martin Richards said: “At Sussex Police we recognise that we need to keep pace with changes that are happening elsewhere in society so that we are fit to police not just now, not just in three years, but into the future. Increasingly people want to report crime and access other services online, which they can now do on our website, but we know this won’t work for everyone.
“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.
“With the opening of community hubs and public contact points, officers will play a more visible and accessible role in the community. People can expect a better service, as we’ll be working jointly with partners to identify and tackle any problems. Together the partner agencies get a full picture of what is happening and can draw on different expertise to help the community.
“We can offer the guarantee that where police stations provide a front counter service the Force will not take this away without providing an alternative way for people to contact us in person that matches or improves upon the existing service. In some areas this will mean there will be more places to drop in or make appointments to see us.”
Worthing Police Station in Chatsworth Road has a public contact point and is used for operational and neighbourhood policing. Sussex police will continue to provide their services from the station.
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. This is the drive behind their local programme of work to modernise the Force, called Serving Sussex 2015, which began in 2010.
By 2018 there will be the following types of buildings where people can speak face-to -ace with their neighbourhood policing teams:
Police Stations: People can expect to find a front counter service. Neighbourhood Policing Teams will be based here alongside other operational units.
Public Contact Points: People can expect to find the same front counter service as a police station, but most likely alongside partner organisations such as the local authority. It is likely the Neighbourhood Policing Teams will be based here.
Community Hubs: People can expect to find their Neighbourhood Policing Team for part of the day to drop in, or can arrange to make an appointment. This will most likely be a space shared with partner agencies.
Additionally there will be:
Operational Policing Bases: A base for multiple operational teams.
Neighbourhood Policing Bases: Neighbourhood Policing Teams will be based at these locations without other operational police units.