Work is now underway to open Sefton’s first Community Police Station.
The new Community Police Station will be opened in Ainsdale Railway Station after Sefton Council granted permission for the proposals put together by Merseyside Police’s estates team and the Merseyrail design team.
The proposal to co-locate the new Community Police Station in the train station were first suggested to Merseyside’s Police Commissioner, Jane Kennedy, by councillors from Ainsdale in 2015. Since then, Merseyrail has agreed to house the new station free of charge within the train station as part of its Corporate Responsibility Programme, meaning there are no costs to Merseyside Police for re-locating to the site or on-going rent charges.
Work on the site has now commenced and it is hoped the new Community Police Station will be ready to open its doors in March 2018.
Community Police Stations are designed to be accessible, visible centres which are co-located with partners in busy neighbourhood hubs which are already well-used by the communities they serve. They are a key part of the PCC’s 10-year strategy to modernise and transform Merseyside Police’s stations with the aim of saving money on running costs which can be redirected straight into frontline policing.
Jane said: “I’m delighted that we are now in a position to get work started on Sefton’s first Community Police Station.
“I am very grateful to Sefton Council and Merseyrail for engaging with the plans to make Merseyside Police more accessible and for helping this new station to become a reality. It is a real example of what can be achieved in partnership. Thanks to Merseyrail’s kind offer to house this Community Police Station for free, we will also be saving money every year on our annual running costs. This is money which can be put straight back into the police budget to be spent on policing our communities.
“This new Community Police Station will put the neighbourhood team right at the heart of the community in a busy location which is well used by the community and which has been recommended by local councillors.
“The Chief Constable and I want officers to be visible and accessible to local people. It’s what people tell me all the time when I attend events and meet the public. This is the first step in making this a reality across Sefton. I hope this new Community Police Station will be a really valuable community asset when it opens its doors.”
By replacing inefficient and expensive old police stations with new Community Police Stations, the Commissioner will be able to reduce the annual running costs of Merseyside Police’s estate by approximately £2.5m every year – protecting the jobs of 65 police officers.
Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member Communities and Housing, said: “Sefton’s first community police station in Ainsdale is another great example of partners working together to help protect our communities.
“The station will be easily accessible, right in the heart of our communities and will reassure local residents that officers and assistance is right on their doorstep.”
David O’Leary, Merseyrail’s commercial director, said: “We are delighted to work with Sefton Council to be able to provide Merseyside Police with a Community Police Station at a newly rebuilt Ainsdale station. We are proud to have a long history of working with local residents to create station environments which contribute positively to the wider community they sit in.
“Having a small police station at Ainsdale, the second on our network, puts the police at the heart of the community, heightening their visibility and presence and further enhancing safety and security within our local areas.”