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We'll be left vulnerable if Ferndown police station is sold, say residents
RESIDENTS have said they are “astounded” by proposals to sell Ferndown police station and transfer 202 members of staff, saying the change would leave the area vulnerable.
Dorset Police and the Police and Crime Commissioner are currently reviewing the use of Ferndown station to identify whether staff can be accommodated elsewhere.
This is part of a wider review of Dorset Police’s estate which covers 80 individual sites and currently costs the force £6.44million a year to run.
Chairman of Ferndown South Neighbourhood Watch Douglas Lock said: “I am absolutely flabbergasted and astounded by the decision to potentially sell Ferndown Police Station. I think it will make the people of Ferndown, many of whom are elderly, much more vulnerable.”
Ferndown Town Councillor Queenie Comfort said: “This would be an absolutely terrible move. Crime is always a problem, so seeing the station close would be very upsetting.”
The estates review has identified Ferndown station on Ameysford Road as an under-utilised resource and Dorset Police hopes transferring the staff would save £500,000.
Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill said: “We need to make sure that the Dorset Police estate is fit for the future. If we lose a fifth of our budget and staff, we also need to lose some of our building estate. These proposed changes are about matching our resources to the demands of the communities that we serve, in order to keep people safe.
“I would like to reassure people in Dorset that we are committed to local neighbourhood policing and that police officers will still operate in the heart of Ferndown.”
In the face on ongoing cuts, the review is taking place to ensure buildings are in the best locations to meet operational demands.
Chief Superintendent Jane Newall, Territorial Policing Commander, said: “We are committed to having a policing presence in Ferndown and I would like to reassure residents that the local Safer Neighbourhood Team will continue to work in the community where we have a local Community Office at the Barrington Centre.”
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