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Police station to be sold

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Police station to be sold thumbnailThe closure of Warrenpoint PSNI Station has been announced.

WARRENPOINT Police Station is set to be sold off after it was announced that it is set to close permanently.

It means that Kilkeel, Newry and Newcastle stations will now only serve the wider Mourne area.

The PSNI announced last week that Warrenpoint station is "no longer required to carry out daily policing business effectively".

This station and 11 others are "not open to the public" and "there are no police officers or staff working in them".

Police say they "made these decisions in relation to the number of stations it requires to carry out its core role of keeping people safe, as well as ensuring the most efficient use of resources in light of continuing budget reductions".

The 2016 Estate Strategy details progression towards a 'fit for purpose' police estate for the next 35-50 years including planned investment in three new police stations at Armagh, Cookstown and Ballymena.

A review of police stations was carried out last year as a result of the restructure within frontline policing to mirror the 11 new council boundaries and "significant financial pressures".

“This identified 12 stations which are no longer required to carry out daily policing business effectively. None of these stations is open to the public and there are no police officers or staff working in them," said a PSNI spokesperson.

The Chief Constable George Hamilton decided earlier this year to suspend the station disposal process to review the risks, benefits and any impact a closure would have on the community.

“This suspension has ended and he has now presented the findings to the Northern Ireland Policing Board, seeking disposal of the following 12 of the organisation's 59 police stations: Aughnacloy, Willowfield and York Road in Belfast, Ballyclare, Ballynahinch, Castlederg, Cushendall, Maghera, Moira, Portaferry, Tandragee and Warrenpoint."

Assistant Chief Constable Stephen Martin said: "We are aware that the permanent closure and disposal of stations is an emotive issue and can have an effect on community confidence.

“I'd like to reassure the public that these 12 stations are no longer being used by police operationally and formally disposing of them will save money, such as bills incurred from utility services.

“Times have changed, and due to advancements in modern technology as well as continuing budgetary restraints, the Police Service continues to look at new ways of providing the most effective service to the public in the most cost-efficient way.

“Communities are increasingly interacting with police in different ways. The digital age means we are able to offer the public instant access to information and services through the PSNI website."

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