Cop shop goes to blazes and moves into a Milton Keynes fire station
The historic Newport Pagnell police station is to close down - and move to the FIRE station just down the road.
The cost-cutting move will enable police officers will have a permanent office alongside the fire engines.
But first, on May 17, the neighbourhood team will temporarily relocate to Wolverton police station, which is four miles away.
A police spokesman said: "In times of austerity, Thames Valley Police continues to focus on reducing non staff costs and protecting our people. As an underutilised building in need of some maintenance, Newport Pagnell police station does not represent a cost-effective use of public money.
He said the relocation would not affect frontline policing in Newport Pagnell or negate an opporunity for residents to report a crime.
"The town and surrounding villages will continue to have a visible, dedicated neighbourhood team working towards the priorities of local residents and businesses."
The move follows a review of the buildings and property owned by Thames Valley Police. Though neighbourhood officers used the Newport Pagnell police station building as a base, it has not been open to the public for years and does not have a front counter.
It is not yet known when the police office in the fire station will open.
Chief Inspector Neil Kentish, Deputy Commander for the Milton Keynes area, said: “I am pleased to be able to make the most of a positive opportunity of collaborating with our emergency service partners. I would like to offer my thanks to Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service (BFRS) for offering to accommodate our neighbourhood team and I look forward to seeing the benefits that can be realised through working more closely together."
He added: "The closure of Newport Pagnell police station will not change our response to emergency situations as officers will continue to be dispatched from Milton Keynes.
“Our neighbourhood team, while temporarily based at Wolverton, will continue to patrol and serve Newport Pagnell and will continue to keep the priorities of the community at the heart of their work. We are empowering our officers and staff to be more mobile in their work with the use of smart phones and laptops and as more of our services move online, members of the public can access information, crime prevention advice and contact details for the neighbourhood team on our website.”
Mark Hemming, director of finance & assets for the fire service, said: “This is the latest example of some of the exciting collaborative working taking place between the Thames Valley emergency services.
“By welcoming our colleagues into Newport Pagnell Fire Station, we will be building upon the commitment we made in 2015 to deliver shared property and co-location of fire and police services wherever such arrangements are efficient and effective in terms of meeting the needs of communities.
“We look forward to the opportunities for closer working that will emerge as result of this collaboration.”