THE future of Boscombe Police Station is in doubt as Dorset Police struggles to cope with a reduced budget.

The force said it faced ‘significant budgetary challenges’ over the next few years, and that difficult decisions would be required to ensure communities received ‘the level of policing they deserve’.

“Reviews are under way to ensure the force makes best use of its resources,” a spokesman said, when asked to confirm the station would remain in use.

“The force and Police and Crime Commissioner are committed to ensuring that a physical policing location or building remains in every town that currently has a physical policing location or building.

“In some areas this may mean utilising more affordable accommodation or sharing with partner agencies.”

Boscombe’s Gloucester Road station, which has neither cells nor a public counter, was threatened with closure during a savings drive in 2011.

The spokesman said final decisions regarding the force estate – which costs £6.44million a year to maintain – had not yet been made.

There are currently plans for new offices and interview rooms for Boscombe’s Safer Neighbourhood Team in the former Argos building in the Crescent.

If planning permission is granted the new facilities, including a counter service, could be in place by the end of the year.

Ward councillor Chris Wakefield said he understood there were ‘no plans’ to close the Gloucester Road station.

“We are very fortunate to have at this time an operational police station and a planned new building, which will allow people to walk in and talk to police face-to-face,” he said.

“I have been told by the Police and Crime Commissioner that at this moment there are no plans to close the station.

“My priority is to ensure Dorset Police have an operational building based in Boscombe for the more than foreseeable future.”

Back in April, Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill acknowledged to the Daily Echo that Christchurch Police Station may close and not be replaced.