England

Thames Valley Police to make £17m from buildings sale

Francis Habgood, Deputy Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police
Image caption Deputy Chief Constable Francis Habgood said the plan for the estate would help protect front line services

Thames Valley Police has confirmed five police stations will be sold to save £17m.

Woodstock and Thame police stations in Oxfordshire will be sold, as will Burnham and Buckingham stations in Buckinghamshire and Hungerford police station in Berkshire.

By selling some of its estate the force hopes to save £1.9m a year by 2019.

Deputy Chief Constable Francis Habgood said it would help protect front line services.

'Massive financial challenges'

He said: "The more we can reduce our non-staff costs then the more we can save our front line people.

"We know the financial challenges are going to be massive over the next few years and so we need to have a good plan as to how we are going to reduce our non-staff costs."

The force also announced that 13 police stations will be replaced with new and in some cases smaller buildings and said this "will not jeopardise response times".

Kidlington police station will be relocated to the force's HQ in the Oxfordshire village.

Mr Habgood said the largest project was Reading police station, which is due to be relocated in the town centre by March 2018 to save about £327,000 and avoid an estimated £5m in maintenance costs.

The force has already cut five HQ satellite offices, saving £306,000 a year, with three others set to go between 2015 and 2017 to save a further £131,000 a year.

At least 26 new neighbourhood offices are planned across the force's three counties, but it will also close 12.

Thames Valley Police has to save £38m over the next three years because of government cuts.

Chairman of the Thames Valley Police Federation Graham Smith said: "Because of the incredible amount of money we have to save on top of the savings we have already done, police officer numbers and police staff numbers will fall and the government really needs to look at the budget cuts about ring-fencing budgets."

To be sold

  • Thame - front counter to remain
  • Woodstock - site to be redeveloped with an on-site police facility
  • Burnham - new neighbourhood office open in Burnham library
  • Buckingham - front counter to remain
  • Hungerford - to be replaced locally by March 2017

To be replaced

  • Marlow
  • Bletchley
  • Wolverton
  • Gerrards Cross
  • Chesham
  • Wendover
  • Reading
  • Langley
  • Bracknell
  • Windsor
  • Twyford
  • Chipping Norton
  • Wallingford

To be relocated

  • Kidlington

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