By Connor Steel
FORMER POLICE STATIONS in Gosport and Fareham look set to reopen to the public by spring next year as part of a major scheme from Hampshire Police and Crime Commissioner Donna Jones; who is hoping her press announcement on Monday (September 18) will improve voter’s overall reputation with officers and will boost efficiency within this force.
It follows a commitment made by Ms Jones when elected in 2021 to increase “police visibility” and further make officers accessible for local residents; her plan being to reopen 10 stations across Hampshire by 2025. These are confirmed as Portsmouth Central, Cosham, Park Gate / Fareham, Petersfield, Totton, Ryde, Yateley, Eastleigh, Cowes, and Gosport.
Many of these were closed in 2014 as part of Government public sector cuts in their bid to save “£50 million”; Ms Jones announcing that £2 million has been allocated to “reinstate front desks” to six stations. Four fresh new bases are due to be opened in West Cowes. Petersfield, Eastleigh, and Cosham; the last one said to be “one of the biggest” in the force.
It was announced in March that the planned sale of Gosport Police Station would be halted and crucial refurbishment is needed to bring it up to standard; the site being closed for longer than the others. As a result there are no indications of the planned timescale or dates for reopening, although it is hoped that it will reopen in some form by early spring 2024.
Although technically in Southampton, one of these ten police stations will reopen in Park Gate from early next year and will join the site currently operating near to Fareham Town Centre. The 10 stations are due to have a range of staff from specialist departments; which may include detectives, fast response teams, armed officers and neighbourhood groups.
Ms Jones has further confirmed the ‘successful recruitments’ of 650 extra police officers across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight; which is part of twenty-thousand staff hires under the Conservative Government. Readers can examine future announcements from the Police & Crime Commissioner by visiting her website, which includes updated contact details.
PICTURED BY ALAMY (CMWMH8): Gosport Police Station is one of 10 to either reopen or open under new PCC plan.