Halewood MP Maria Eagle will join Merseyside Police’s Commissioner and Head of Local Policing to officially re-open the town’s newly refurbished police station today.
Halewood Police Station, which first opened its doors nearly 60 years ago, has been refurbished to ensure the facilities are fit for purpose and appropriate to serve the area’s local neighbourhood police team. The project has also seen a new Community Police Station opened to enable officers and PCSOs to meet members of the public and hold surgeries.
The Police Commissioner, Jane Kennedy, committed to revitalising the station on Leather’s Lane at a meeting of Halewood Town Council in February 2019 following a lengthy consultation process which confirmed the existing site was the most cost-effective and efficient way of maintaining a local police presence for the people of Halewood.
Since that announcement, work has been undertaken to refresh and modernise the working spaces, improve access for visitors, update security and make alterations to the ID suite. Existing partitions and walls have been removed to provide a more efficient, open-plan working space for the local policing team.
Space has also been set aside for a Community Police Station – the second in Knowsley since the opening of the shared Community Fire and Police Station in February 2018. Community Police Stations are designed to be accessible, visible centres which enable members of the public to meet their local policing team, share their concerns and feedback and provide a base for surgeries. They are a key part of the PCC’s strategy to transform Merseyside Police’s stations with the aim of saving money on its annual running costs which can be redirected straight into frontline policing.
The money used for the refurbishment of Halewood is completely separate from, and cannot be diverted to, the funding used to pay for Merseyside Police’s officers and staff.
Today the Commissioner, Jane Kennedy, and Merseyside Police’s Head of Local Policing Chief Superintendent Matt Boyle, will formally welcome the guests, including Garston and Halewood MP Maria Eagle and town councillors Cllr Barbara Dunn, Cllr Shelley Powell and Cllr Terry Powell before officially re-opening the building.
Jane said: “I’m delighted that following a major refurbishment programme we are now in a position to re-open Halewood Police Station and I’m delighted that Maria is able to give her time to carry out the official unveiling today.
“Halewood Police Station dates back to 1960 but, prior to this project, it had seen no significant investment since it opened six decades ago.
“The force need stations which are modern and appropriate for the purpose of policing in the 21st century and this refurbishment ensures the officers, PCSOs and staff working from Halewood Police Station have got the right working environment and facilities to fight crime, now and in the future.
“Access to police stations is high on the agenda for communities across Merseyside, and by opening a new Community Police Station within the Halewood site, it is my hope this station will give local people the ability to reach out to their neighbourhood police team in a visible, handy location. By doing so, I hope this station will be an asset not just for Merseyside Police, but for local people and the wider community for years to come.”
The project to revitalise Halewood Police Station is part of the Commissioner’s 10-year strategy to modernise Merseyside Police’s buildings and facilities, while working to reduce the annual running costs of the estate by an estimated £2.5m.
The move to refurbish the existing station follows several consultations with Knowsley Borough Councillors and Halewood Town councillors, local partners and the public since the Commissioner launched her 10-year estates strategy in 2014.
Maria Eagle MP said: “I am really pleased to be able to jointly open the refurbished community police station in Halewood. I know just how much local people will value the facilities and the easy access to their local policing teams which it will facilitate.”
“It is great to see that this newly refurbished and modernised facility will keep policing close to the people of Halewood at the same time as providing fit for purpose facilities for the policing teams themselves.”
The renovations were part funded by earmarked capital reserves specifically set aside for the estate strategy and external loans from approved sources, in accordance with the Prudential Code for capital finance.