Police look to move home

A DECISION on whether to refurbish Ipswich police station or sell the dated building to developers is to be made by constabulary chiefs in the coming months, it emerged today.

A DECISION on whether to refurbish Ipswich police station or sell the dated building to developers is to be made by constabulary chiefs in the coming months, it emerged today.

Suffolk Police Authority has admitted the 1960s building is in poor condition and requires “substantial investment in the very near future” if the force is to remain at its current Civic Centre base.

Should the authority opt to sell up and move elsewhere, it could be forced to shell out up to £10million for a new home.

However, the motivation to switch locations has been fuelled by the successful development of the safer neighbourhood teams, which sees officers based remotely in estates and districts and away from the town centre.


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The force is currently building a business case and assessing its options, which are highlighted in a new document.

A police authority strategy report, which will be discussed on Thursday, claimed that the police station in Civic Drive, “does not meet our current or anticipated needs under neighbourhood policing”.

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Progress towards a preferred solution was expected by early 2008, the report said.

The Civic Centre complex, which also comprises the former Ipswich Borough Council building and the old crown court, is in line for mass redevelopment.

It is likely a hotel and a supermarket will be built on the site.

Police currently use cells at the crown court and there is concern that custody space will be compromised when the court is sold to developers.

The strategy report said: “Ipswich Police Station is in very poor condition and a decision to retain it would result in the need for substantial investment in the very near future.

“The possibility of losing the crown court accommodation in three-and-a-half years and the relocation of a number of posts further aggravates our accommodation issues at this location.”

The report estimates that any move would require capital funding of up to £10m.

A full business case will be presented to the authority when a decision on the future of the building has been made.

Should police keep the town centre station? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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