Question mark hangs over Police Station

Rye Police Station 10/7/12
Rye Police Station 10/7/12

SUSSEX Police have not ruled out selling off Rye police station in the future.

The news comes amid growing rumours in the town.

The issue was raised when the public services committee met at Rye Town Hall recently.

Rother District Commander Chief Inspector Kay Woolford said there were no immediate plans to move out of Rye police station, in Cinque Ports Steet, but confirmed Sussex Police were considering all their options.

But she said that whatever happens Rye would still have a police outlet and there would be no job losses.

She said: “It’s not about jobs – it’s ensuring our buildings are fit for purpose, modern, economic, and ensuring the public get the best out of us by making sure we are in the right location.

“I can understand people’s concerns, but it is not about moving police out of local communities.

“It is also about working with local partners to make us more effective.”

But she stressed that nothing has been set in stone.

It has been suggested that police could share a base with other emergency services such as fire and ambulance.

At Eastbourne a number of front-line officers are already working out of council buildings.

The force is faced with having to make more than £50 million in cuts over a two year period and has to prioritise protecting front-line services.

Rye police station has been effectively down-graded over the years with reduced opening hours and the cell blocks not being used.

Response officers covering Rye now work out of the police station at Battle.

Cllr Mary Smith, chair of Rye Council’s public services committee, said: “It would be a retrograde step to close Rye police station. This town has so many tourists who need to know where the police station is.

“We need a manned police station in the same way that we need a manned railway station.

“To close the police station would be another example of asset stripping.”