Uncertainty over police 999 units

Battle Police Station
Battle Police Station

BATTLE Police Station will close within the next five years - but the Force has not yet decided where Rother’s 999 officers will be based.

Sussex Police announced on Tuesday it plans to close a number of police buildings across East and West Sussex, including Battle Police Station in North Trade Road.

The public will still be able to access front counter services from a ‘Public Contact Point’ which Sussex Police say will be provided from a nearby shared site, possibly with other emergency service partners, in Battle.

The Battle Neighbourhood Policing Team will also be based at this, as yet undisclosed, location.

But Sussex Police say it has not yet decided where Rother’s emergency response officers will be based - re-igniting fears they could be moved to a base outside the district.

Response officers from Rye and Bexhill have been based at Battle since September 2011.

In December last year, Sussex Police confirmed it had previously considered the possibility of moving Rother’s emergency response officers to a base in Hastings - leaving no response officers based in Rother.

When asked by the Observer where Rother’s response officers will be based when Battle Police Station shuts, a spokesperson for Sussex Police said: “Battle Police Station will be re-provided as a Public Contact Point and Neighbourhood Policing Base.

“We will need to identify how service provision for other operational units such as response will be delivered in the future, but this has not yet been decided.”

Sussex Police’s five year plan is being introduced following a review of more than one hundred Force buildings, looking at how Sussex Police can ‘improve service whilst making savings’.

Bexhill and Rye Police Stations are both escaping the axe.

Unveiling the plans on Tuesday, 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.

“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.

“This may well mean investing in certain parts of the estate to ensure we fulfil the needs of 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.

A Forcewide map detailing what service will be available and where across East and West Sussex is available to view at http://tinyurl.com/p4pnxor along with the Sussex Police Estates Strategy in full at http://tinyurl.com/pwnrj2x.