Police ‘should be arrested’ for leaving houses empty in Milton Keynes for ten years

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Five former police houses that have stood empty for TEN years have caused outrage among councillors struggling with spiralling homelessness.

Police bosses have refused to allow the Newport Pagnell homes to be used for families in need, it is claimed.

But they have offered to sell them to the council – at 30 per cent above the market value.

This stance, which comes at a time of police budget cuts, has been slammed as “disgraceful” by Nigel Long, the Labour councillor in charge of adult social care.

“I am appalled that five police houses have been sitting empty whilst hundreds of families are homeless, in temporary accommodation costing the taxpayer millions of pounds,” he said.

“I’m even more appalled to find out these houses have been empty for so long. The council first raised them with the police over 10 years ago.”

Mr Long, who is the son of a police officer, said the houses have been empty since the town’s police station closed.

“MK Council has asked to buy them. But the greedy, short-sighted police authority want to sell them at 30 per cent above the market value.

“I will probably get arrested for exposing this totally appalling behaviour by the police authority, but I think they should be prosecuted for leaving these houses empty and losing income to the police service. It’s a disgrace.”

Mr Long has now asked TVP to publish details of any other properties they have empty in MK.

“We will bring them up to standard. We will then move homeless families in and charge them an appropriate rent.”

In the ten years the houses were empty, the police could have benefitted from £312,000 in rent.

A police spokesperson, said: “We are now intending to sell the entire site, including the former police station.”

Thames Valley Police said the houses were marketed in 2013, but claimed the council did not express any formal interest.

They continued: “We are now intending to sell the entire site, including the police station.

“The houses are not currently fit for occupation without significant investment. In a buoyant market, the force can achieve bids in excess of market value.”