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Police could share office space with Scouts when Tadley station closes
CRIMEBUSTING operations in Tadley are set to be directed from the town’s Scout den as police search for a new home in the town.
The prospect of police officers sharing office space with Scouts and Beavers is looming as premises are sought to replace the Mulfords Hill station after it is shut to save money.
Speaking at a public meeting in Tadley last week, Inspector Bill Pinnell confirmed that there had been “initial negotiations” with Tadley Scout group leader Brian Spray about the possibility of the police moving into the Diamond Scout Den, on the Southdown playing fields.
The future of the station has been hanging in the balance since it was announced two years ago that it was one of 18 to be closed.
The Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, Simon Hayes, told the meeting at Tadley Town Council offices in Franklin Avenue, that a number of options to house police had been looked at but dismissed for lack of space. These included Tadley fire station, Tadley library and local stores.
Stressing that the Mulfords Hill station would not be sold off before suitable alternative accommodation was found, Mr Hayes said the force was keen to sell off the building to raise funds.
He said: “We need to maintain a community presence. There is less money and more demand and we need to look at ways of working around that.”
He added: “There is a reluctance to increase the precept.” There are 12 police staff currently based at the station, which closed its front desk in March last year.
The sergeant, inspector, six PCs and four PCSOs will be relocated when an alternative location is found.
Acting Chief Inspector Dave Winter, who leads the local Safer Neighbourhoods Team, said traditional methods of policing had changed. He said: “You are unlikely to see a bobby on the beat, as you would have done years ago.
“That is a good sign- a sign that you live in a safe area.”
He added that technology now made it possible for officers to work remotely.
But some at the meeting expressed concerns about the closure of the station. Town councillor Jo Slimmin, said: “People know where the police are now. How will people know how to find you? Not everybody has access to technology.”
She said she was particularly concerned about the affect the closure will have on elderly people.
Acting Chief Insp Winter said regular beat surgeries would be held in the town by police, to discuss any issues with residents.
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