Old police stations to be sold

REDUNDANT police houses and stations in Wyre are to be sold off by Lancashire Police in a bid to save cash.

Thursday, 20th January 2011, 11:45 am

Village police stations in Preesall and Hambleton are to be put on the market with another 11 bases across Lancashire.

Other villages affected include Cockerham, Woodplumpton, Goosnargh, Grimsargh, Singleton and Weeton, near Preston.

Most are already out of use according to the force, with Hambleton Station believed to have been closed for the past 10 years.

Preesall Station, which dates back to 1897, is still in use for neighbourhood police or public meetings and remains open at present.But a spokesman for the force said arrangements were currently being made for officers to re-locate to the village’s new fire station.

It is understood Over Wyre officers will be moving to their new base during the next few weeks.

In Woodplumpton, residents have raised concerns over the decision to close their former police house, used as a base for the neighbourhood policing team and PACT meetings, saying it was yet a further loss of a community facility for the village. Woodplumpton’s police house closed on January 13 with two days’ notice.

Parish clerk Julie Buttle said: “I was told on Tuesday. I must admit we are quite shocked at the speed of the decision from a parish council perspective. It’s the loss of an important facility for the community.

“It will be discussed by the council at Monday’s meeting, but the decision has been made. Our concern is it could affect the visibility of officers if they aren’t seen dropping in at the police house.”

Coun Tom Davies, a former policeman, who represents Preston Rural East, said: “When I was on the beat every village had its own bobby in a police house who knew everything about what went on in the area. I understand they have to save money because of the cuts, but it is going to become a soulless, faceless ‘yes sir, no sir’ set up.

“Our village bobbies are very good when they are allowed to work on their patch, but just yesterday I saw them in another area of Preston working on another operation.”

The spokesman for Lancashire Police said: “The Constabulary is facing significant cuts as a result of the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review.

“The majority of the buildings affected are empty police houses to which the public never had real access.

“Officers will continue to be out on patrol in the affected areas and the policing of the community should not be affected by the move.

“We will continue to focus on reducing crime and anti-social behaviour .”