UKIP protest closure threat to Eastleigh police station

Threat of police station closure prompts protest

UNDER THREAT: Eastleigh Police Station.

CAMPAIGN: The UKIP-organised protest against the cuts.

First published in News
Last updated
by

THE future of a busy town centre police station today hangs in the balance.

Eastleigh’s police station has been put under threat after Hampshire Constabulary revealed it was once again reviewing the number of buildings it owns as part of an ongoing bid to shave millions of pounds from its budget.

The news comes just a week after a man was killed, sparking a murder inquiry that rocked the local community.

The Daily Echo can reveal negotiations have been under way behind the scenes with Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service and Eastleigh Borough Council over a “space sharing” initiative.

But police chiefs maintain “no firm decisions have been made”.

This weekend saw around a dozen campaigners demonstrating outside the police station in Leigh Road, protesting against the cuts.

John Edwards, 58, from Romsey, but who lived in Eastleigh for 22 years, said: “It’s a retrograde idea. It’s going to affect confidence for the public. These cuts affect everyone.”

The proposal comes just weeks after the force announced sweeping £25million cuts including job losses and station closures.

News of the uncertainty surrounding the Leigh Road headquarters has been greeted with outrage by one local councillor, who described the facility as a “safe haven” for people in the town.

Andy Moore, who represents Eastleigh East on Hampshire County Council, said: “It is absolutely terrible news.

“Our politicians are telling us that crime is down in the town – but there are not enough police to make the reports. I am appalled.”

He added: “Being able to go to a police station is a form of reassurance for victims of crime. Eastleigh is a central point in the area – we do not want to be shutting police stations, we need to reinvest.”

UKIP supporters organised the demonstration outside the headquarters on Saturday, with some drivers beeping their horns in support.

Cllr Keith House, leader of Eastleigh Borough Council, said savings need to be made to ensure frontline policing remains in the town.

He said: “The police have been working through the estate strategy for a number of years and have to make sure they save money for front line policing – that is what matters most.”

“The key is a police presence in the centre. It’s not about buildings, it’s about safety.

“UKIP are being deeply irresponsible if they are trying to suggest policing in the town is at threat.”

As part of the cost-cutting measures revealed earlier this year, Hampshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Simon Hayes confirmed that further underused and expensive police stations will be closed to make savings from the force’s estates budget.

At the time, it was not known which police stations were at risk but Mr Hayes said that the introduction of cheaper beat stations, such as the ones opened in the Northam and Redbridge areas of Southampton, had been a success within the communities.

A PCC spokesman said nothing had been decided and that a further report would be released later this month.

He added that the PCC was “currently evaluating the estate strategy and how that can support the operational change programme which includes speaking with our partners.”

These included Hampshire Fire and Rescue, Eastleigh Borough Council and other bodies with regards to possible space sharing, the spokesman said.

  •  The news comes as two brothers were remanded in custody charged with the murder of newsagent Choudhry Zishan outside his Eastleigh town centre home. Jonathan and Samuel McKinley appeared at Winchester Crown Court accused of murdering Mr Zishan, 35, in High Street. The case was adjourned until May 30.

Comments (20)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

10:52am Mon 7 Apr 14

skeptik says...

What's the problem we will still have 43 forces and HQs - hundreds of chief officers- 349 of them in ACPO - and you want stations too?
What's the problem we will still have 43 forces and HQs - hundreds of chief officers- 349 of them in ACPO - and you want stations too? skeptik
  • Score: 8

11:22am Mon 7 Apr 14

ameliaS says...

It's my money and I'd rather have police on the streets than obsolete buildings which are no longer fit for purpose. Congratulations to the PCC for having some vision. It would be interesting to see the maintenance costs for this building.
It's my money and I'd rather have police on the streets than obsolete buildings which are no longer fit for purpose. Congratulations to the PCC for having some vision. It would be interesting to see the maintenance costs for this building. ameliaS
  • Score: 8

11:40am Mon 7 Apr 14

Quentin Heslop says...

I understood it was all a done deal with the force moving into the fire brigade HQ and a 'front office' facility to be maintained in the town centre. It seems eminently sensible. There is no need for the station to be where it is in old inefficient offices and the fire and rescue HQ is much better sited.
I understood it was all a done deal with the force moving into the fire brigade HQ and a 'front office' facility to be maintained in the town centre. It seems eminently sensible. There is no need for the station to be where it is in old inefficient offices and the fire and rescue HQ is much better sited. Quentin Heslop
  • Score: 7

11:57am Mon 7 Apr 14

TheRiseofUKIP says...

If the idea is to save the taxpayer money, why has my council tax gone up by 2% for Police & Crime Commissioner for hampshire? scandal. Also the thought I have going around in my mind is, Imagine how many flats could be Built on the Eastleigh Police station site.
If the idea is to save the taxpayer money, why has my council tax gone up by 2% for Police & Crime Commissioner for hampshire? scandal. Also the thought I have going around in my mind is, Imagine how many flats could be Built on the Eastleigh Police station site. TheRiseofUKIP
  • Score: 1

12:36pm Mon 7 Apr 14

cazzergirl says...

We have already had Hedge End closed to the public and Eastleigh is our nearest station. Where does that leave us if it closes??
We have already had Hedge End closed to the public and Eastleigh is our nearest station. Where does that leave us if it closes?? cazzergirl
  • Score: 7

1:14pm Mon 7 Apr 14

meechy says...

I think the proposal is to dispose of the current building. There will still be a police contact point in Eastleigh, just not in the large, out-of-date building. Move the cars, offices, CID etc to Fire HQ. Makes sense.
I think the proposal is to dispose of the current building. There will still be a police contact point in Eastleigh, just not in the large, out-of-date building. Move the cars, offices, CID etc to Fire HQ. Makes sense. meechy
  • Score: 1

1:26pm Mon 7 Apr 14

From the sidelines says...

Simon Hayes seems to have responded to each and every one of UKIP's mischief-making points, yet UKIP seem to have their fingers in their ears and to be shouting "La-La-La I can't hear you".

They need to understand that they should be measuring the efficacy and efficiency of the service, not the amount invested or the number of buildings.
Simon Hayes seems to have responded to each and every one of UKIP's mischief-making points, yet UKIP seem to have their fingers in their ears and to be shouting "La-La-La I can't hear you". They need to understand that they should be measuring the efficacy and efficiency of the service, not the amount invested or the number of buildings. From the sidelines
  • Score: 6

3:12pm Mon 7 Apr 14

Highfielder says...

It looks as if a time is coming when there will be no publicly accessible police stations left. I remember a time when Bitterne and Shirley had 24/7 police stations and Portswood was open to the public. For about two years Thornhill had a beat station in the Housing Office Now there is only the new police station some distance from the city centre and it isn't open 24/7.

Shortly after Portswood police station closed I found a woman's bus pass and some other cards in a plastic wallet by a bus stop in Portswood Road. What was I supposed to do with it with no police or PCSOs in sight? I took it round to the police station and rang the bell but no-one answered. Luckily a police woman was coming out from behind the building and kindly took the wallet off me. She told me that she was actually going off duty but it would save me having to take it to the new police station in town or Bitterne.

If UKIP is the only party prepared to protest at the threatened closure of Eastleigh police station then that says something about the other parties. Good for UKIP, We need our police stations and we need them to be open, accessible and centrally situated, not an anonymous civilian phone operator in a call centre in Winchester -- which is who you pay to speak to on a non-emergency call.
It looks as if a time is coming when there will be no publicly accessible police stations left. I remember a time when Bitterne and Shirley had 24/7 police stations and Portswood was open to the public. For about two years Thornhill had a beat station in the Housing Office Now there is only the new police station some distance from the city centre and it isn't open 24/7. Shortly after Portswood police station closed I found a woman's bus pass and some other cards in a plastic wallet by a bus stop in Portswood Road. What was I supposed to do with it with no police or PCSOs in sight? I took it round to the police station and rang the bell but no-one answered. Luckily a police woman was coming out from behind the building and kindly took the wallet off me. She told me that she was actually going off duty but it would save me having to take it to the new police station in town or Bitterne. If UKIP is the only party prepared to protest at the threatened closure of Eastleigh police station then that says something about the other parties. Good for UKIP, We need our police stations and we need them to be open, accessible and centrally situated, not an anonymous civilian phone operator in a call centre in Winchester -- which is who you pay to speak to on a non-emergency call. Highfielder
  • Score: 0

3:30pm Mon 7 Apr 14

ReverendPaul says...

It makes perfect sense to move the Police Station to somewhere that is cost effective and there is the intention of keeping a physical presence in the town centre as well.

Nothing has been decided yet so sadly this appears to be a form of scaremongering from UKIP without the true facts being on the table. Interesting also that we don't hear from UKIP any other time other than elections. Whereas the other two main parties have regular newsletters to residents and a presence in the communities that they both represent and often live in.

So how would UKIP save money, what would they do differently, where would they build the extra homes that the government dictate that are needed, its ok attacking change but whats there alternatives
It makes perfect sense to move the Police Station to somewhere that is cost effective and there is the intention of keeping a physical presence in the town centre as well. Nothing has been decided yet so sadly this appears to be a form of scaremongering from UKIP without the true facts being on the table. Interesting also that we don't hear from UKIP any other time other than elections. Whereas the other two main parties have regular newsletters to residents and a presence in the communities that they both represent and often live in. So how would UKIP save money, what would they do differently, where would they build the extra homes that the government dictate that are needed, its ok attacking change but whats there alternatives ReverendPaul
  • Score: 5

3:50pm Mon 7 Apr 14

OSPREYSAINT says...

It is not as if there has been any serious crime in Eastleigh recently is it?
It is not as if there has been any serious crime in Eastleigh recently is it? OSPREYSAINT
  • Score: 2

4:23pm Mon 7 Apr 14

Highfielder says...

In the months before Portswood police station closed I was regularly given councillors' newsletters telling me in big articles how they and their parties were fighting to keep this police station open. After it closed the subject simply vanished into thin air.
When a Tory party worker called on me recently with one of his newsletters I asked him why Portswood police station had been allowed to close given local opposition to this.
He replied that it was all the fault of the Labour Council. This is nonsense as the Council doesn''t decide the future of police stations. Rev. Paul didn't answer any of my points: what do you do if you find someone's bus pass or wallet in the street and there isn't a police station, police officer or PCSO about? Why should I have to pay to speak to an anonymous civilian call centre operator who may not even do anything about my call but won't come back to me to tell me this? How is this better than having local access to a police station?
As to continued police physical presence that is purely luck these days. Look at the Daily Echo's 'Hampshire Heritage' old photos of different areas of Southampton and you will usually see a smartly turned out policeman in the crowd. They didn't have much technology but they sure knew their beat areas.
In the months before Portswood police station closed I was regularly given councillors' newsletters telling me in big articles how they and their parties were fighting to keep this police station open. After it closed the subject simply vanished into thin air. When a Tory party worker called on me recently with one of his newsletters I asked him why Portswood police station had been allowed to close given local opposition to this. He replied that it was all the fault of the Labour Council. This is nonsense as the Council doesn''t decide the future of police stations. Rev. Paul didn't answer any of my points: what do you do if you find someone's bus pass or wallet in the street and there isn't a police station, police officer or PCSO about? Why should I have to pay to speak to an anonymous civilian call centre operator who may not even do anything about my call but won't come back to me to tell me this? How is this better than having local access to a police station? As to continued police physical presence that is purely luck these days. Look at the Daily Echo's 'Hampshire Heritage' old photos of different areas of Southampton and you will usually see a smartly turned out policeman in the crowd. They didn't have much technology but they sure knew their beat areas. Highfielder
  • Score: 1

4:31pm Mon 7 Apr 14

Kingontail says...

ReverendPaul wrote:
It makes perfect sense to move the Police Station to somewhere that is cost effective and there is the intention of keeping a physical presence in the town centre as well.

Nothing has been decided yet so sadly this appears to be a form of scaremongering from UKIP without the true facts being on the table. Interesting also that we don't hear from UKIP any other time other than elections. Whereas the other two main parties have regular newsletters to residents and a presence in the communities that they both represent and often live in.

So how would UKIP save money, what would they do differently, where would they build the extra homes that the government dictate that are needed, its ok attacking change but whats there alternatives
they would build more warships 3, and 4 new nuclear submarines, promote coal fired power station (honestly!), ban certain books and documentaries, franchise out hospitals and gp surgeries, build lots more prisons, flat 31% tax rate - all whilst reducing public spending to 1997 levels which they estimate would cost 2 million people their jobs - but worth it in the long run - their words not mine.

They then added last year - Banning windfarms in case they harm fish, Banning European studies at universities, Restricting foreigners on football teams,Proper dress in theatres and wait for it - a policy to glamorise Railways.

Honestly, you could not make anything up to beat this rubbish - still play the race card and it keeps the stupid people happy.
[quote][p][bold]ReverendPaul[/bold] wrote: It makes perfect sense to move the Police Station to somewhere that is cost effective and there is the intention of keeping a physical presence in the town centre as well. Nothing has been decided yet so sadly this appears to be a form of scaremongering from UKIP without the true facts being on the table. Interesting also that we don't hear from UKIP any other time other than elections. Whereas the other two main parties have regular newsletters to residents and a presence in the communities that they both represent and often live in. So how would UKIP save money, what would they do differently, where would they build the extra homes that the government dictate that are needed, its ok attacking change but whats there alternatives[/p][/quote]they would build more warships 3, and 4 new nuclear submarines, promote coal fired power station (honestly!), ban certain books and documentaries, franchise out hospitals and gp surgeries, build lots more prisons, flat 31% tax rate - all whilst reducing public spending to 1997 levels which they estimate would cost 2 million people their jobs - but worth it in the long run - their words not mine. They then added last year - Banning windfarms in case they harm fish, Banning European studies at universities, Restricting foreigners on football teams,Proper dress in theatres and wait for it - a policy to glamorise Railways. Honestly, you could not make anything up to beat this rubbish - still play the race card and it keeps the stupid people happy. Kingontail
  • Score: 0

5:28pm Mon 7 Apr 14

chimneysweep 1234 says...

Close it more men on beat .I don't like coppers ..but to many top jobs more beat bobbies
Close it more men on beat .I don't like coppers ..but to many top jobs more beat bobbies chimneysweep 1234
  • Score: -2

7:12pm Mon 7 Apr 14

4-front says...

Hampshire Constabulary rates among the most efficient in the Country according to HMIC. They are having to make the same % cuts in their budget as other much less efficient Forces (c£80 million). IF YOU WANT TO BLAME ANYONE FOR THE CUTS; BLAME HOME SECRETARY THERESA MAY & THE CONSERVATIVE / LIB-DEM GOVERNMENT for the mess!! AND expect rationalisation of your Police Stations if you still want a front-line Police presence!
Hampshire Constabulary rates among the most efficient in the Country according to HMIC. They are having to make the same % cuts in their budget as other much less efficient Forces (c£80 million). IF YOU WANT TO BLAME ANYONE FOR THE CUTS; BLAME HOME SECRETARY THERESA MAY & THE CONSERVATIVE / LIB-DEM GOVERNMENT for the mess!! AND expect rationalisation of your Police Stations if you still want a front-line Police presence! 4-front
  • Score: 8

8:49pm Mon 7 Apr 14

BenLovesCassie says...

Horse+stable door. You're kidding yourself if you believe that nothing's been finalised. The building is going. The only uncertainty is which depts go to the Fire HQ and which go elsewhere.
The Daily Echo should also ask around as to who thought that police cover for Romsey coming from Andover was a good idea,
Horse+stable door. You're kidding yourself if you believe that nothing's been finalised. The building is going. The only uncertainty is which depts go to the Fire HQ and which go elsewhere. The Daily Echo should also ask around as to who thought that police cover for Romsey coming from Andover was a good idea, BenLovesCassie
  • Score: 1

9:39pm Mon 7 Apr 14

thesouth says...

ameliaS wrote:
It's my money and I'd rather have police on the streets than obsolete buildings which are no longer fit for purpose. Congratulations to the PCC for having some vision. It would be interesting to see the maintenance costs for this building.
You clearly have a limited knowledge of policing. It's not just about patrolling - when you deal with someone and it has to go to court, how do you think it gets there? The court fairies? You don't just arrest someone one minute then plod on the next. Limited buildings mean limited space for important documents, kit etc, things will get lost, quality will fall etc
[quote][p][bold]ameliaS[/bold] wrote: It's my money and I'd rather have police on the streets than obsolete buildings which are no longer fit for purpose. Congratulations to the PCC for having some vision. It would be interesting to see the maintenance costs for this building.[/p][/quote]You clearly have a limited knowledge of policing. It's not just about patrolling - when you deal with someone and it has to go to court, how do you think it gets there? The court fairies? You don't just arrest someone one minute then plod on the next. Limited buildings mean limited space for important documents, kit etc, things will get lost, quality will fall etc thesouth
  • Score: -1

8:30am Tue 8 Apr 14

westhantsboy says...

Drip,drip,drip. This government is killing the service. Whilst I agree the stations are of limited use, next to no one visits them and virtually everyone has access to a phone anyway. If it's happening in Eastleigh I dread to think what is going to happen in the New Forest
Drip,drip,drip. This government is killing the service. Whilst I agree the stations are of limited use, next to no one visits them and virtually everyone has access to a phone anyway. If it's happening in Eastleigh I dread to think what is going to happen in the New Forest westhantsboy
  • Score: 0

8:35am Tue 8 Apr 14

westhantsboy says...

Highfielder wrote:
In the months before Portswood police station closed I was regularly given councillors' newsletters telling me in big articles how they and their parties were fighting to keep this police station open. After it closed the subject simply vanished into thin air.
When a Tory party worker called on me recently with one of his newsletters I asked him why Portswood police station had been allowed to close given local opposition to this.
He replied that it was all the fault of the Labour Council. This is nonsense as the Council doesn''t decide the future of police stations. Rev. Paul didn't answer any of my points: what do you do if you find someone's bus pass or wallet in the street and there isn't a police station, police officer or PCSO about? Why should I have to pay to speak to an anonymous civilian call centre operator who may not even do anything about my call but won't come back to me to tell me this? How is this better than having local access to a police station?
As to continued police physical presence that is purely luck these days. Look at the Daily Echo's 'Hampshire Heritage' old photos of different areas of Southampton and you will usually see a smartly turned out policeman in the crowd. They didn't have much technology but they sure knew their beat areas.
If you can still find a Police station front office open, you will dealt with by a civilian enquiry officer. Officers stopped working on front desks years ago buddy.
[quote][p][bold]Highfielder[/bold] wrote: In the months before Portswood police station closed I was regularly given councillors' newsletters telling me in big articles how they and their parties were fighting to keep this police station open. After it closed the subject simply vanished into thin air. When a Tory party worker called on me recently with one of his newsletters I asked him why Portswood police station had been allowed to close given local opposition to this. He replied that it was all the fault of the Labour Council. This is nonsense as the Council doesn''t decide the future of police stations. Rev. Paul didn't answer any of my points: what do you do if you find someone's bus pass or wallet in the street and there isn't a police station, police officer or PCSO about? Why should I have to pay to speak to an anonymous civilian call centre operator who may not even do anything about my call but won't come back to me to tell me this? How is this better than having local access to a police station? As to continued police physical presence that is purely luck these days. Look at the Daily Echo's 'Hampshire Heritage' old photos of different areas of Southampton and you will usually see a smartly turned out policeman in the crowd. They didn't have much technology but they sure knew their beat areas.[/p][/quote]If you can still find a Police station front office open, you will dealt with by a civilian enquiry officer. Officers stopped working on front desks years ago buddy. westhantsboy
  • Score: 0

12:17pm Tue 8 Apr 14

4-front says...

FELLOW CITIZENS - The BIG POLICE DEBATE is about -
How many regional Police Forces do we need nationally?
How many tiers (ranks) are necessary to run a cost-effective Force?
Front-line on-street policing levels v less visible crime detection/prosecutio
n?
Identifying and meeting "local" demand?
Sharing facilities with other public sector organisations - Fire Service, local authority reception areas and communications systems?
Shared services amongst regional Forces eg Hampshire and Thames Valley road traffic policing, helicopter service?
Use of private sector services (free and paid) - eg info points / police presence at hypermarkets? eg forensic laboratory services?
Evaluation of real value of Police & Crime Commissioner role v. previous Police Authority arrangements?
Maintaining Police staff motivation in the face of major budget cuts and constant interference by central Government eg ASBOs now gone; renamed!
OUTCOME:-
This conundrum demands our patience and support for the Police. We can not expect to receive the same level of service we had before major Government cuts in the last few years BUT we can expect improved cost-effectiveness in the "essential" Police services remaining! If Theresa May and chums could ease off for a few more years I am sure the new PCCs and Constabularies would be eternally grateful! :-(
FELLOW CITIZENS - The BIG POLICE DEBATE is about - How many regional Police Forces do we need nationally? How many tiers (ranks) are necessary to run a cost-effective Force? Front-line on-street policing levels v less visible crime detection/prosecutio n? Identifying and meeting "local" demand? Sharing facilities with other public sector organisations - Fire Service, local authority reception areas and communications systems? Shared services amongst regional Forces eg Hampshire and Thames Valley road traffic policing, helicopter service? Use of private sector services (free and paid) - eg info points / police presence at hypermarkets? eg forensic laboratory services? Evaluation of real value of Police & Crime Commissioner role v. previous Police Authority arrangements? Maintaining Police staff motivation in the face of major budget cuts and constant interference by central Government eg ASBOs now gone; renamed! OUTCOME:- This conundrum demands our patience and support for the Police. We can not expect to receive the same level of service we had before major Government cuts in the last few years BUT we can expect improved cost-effectiveness in the "essential" Police services remaining! If Theresa May and chums could ease off for a few more years I am sure the new PCCs and Constabularies would be eternally grateful! :-( 4-front
  • Score: 1

3:08pm Tue 8 Apr 14

simaster says...

police.uk statisitcs show that 23 crimes were commited on or very near leigh lane, I would argue that this number of crimes is average, with or without a local police station, showing that a large police presence in the area does not reduce crime.

http://www.police.uk
/hampshire/1EE04/cri
me/+H4hf4C/
police.uk statisitcs show that 23 crimes were commited on or very near leigh lane, I would argue that this number of crimes is average, with or without a local police station, showing that a large police presence in the area does not reduce crime. http://www.police.uk /hampshire/1EE04/cri me/+H4hf4C/ simaster
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree