Demand for £1 million Hucknall police station sale cash to be spent on frontline policing
A demand has been made for profits made from the potential £1 million sale of of the discarded and out-of-date Hucknall police station to be ploughed back into protecting the public through frontline officers.
A total of five offers are reported to have been received for the Watnall Road site, which includes a police training centre.
The Dispatch understands that highest of those bids, although the exact figure hasn't been disclosed, has come from Preferred Homes, which specialises in extra care apartments.
But whoever ultimately buys the site, Coun Helen-Ann Smith (Ashfield Independents) wants to see the proceeds re-invested in the fight against crime locally.
Coun Smith, who is also Ashfield District Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for community protection raised the issue at the first crime panel meeting of new Nottinghamshire police and crime commissioner Caroline Henry..
Coun Smith said, “On January 26, 2015, Hucknall Police Station shut its doors to the public for the final time and became a police training centre, not open to the public.
"Now it is being flogged to the highest bidder and is expected to get more than £1 million.
"This should be re-invested in frontline policing in Hucknall.”
Mrs Henry asked Coun Smith to email over a series of questions, including the one about policing in Hucknall.
Coun Smith continued, “Ashfield Independent councillors are constantly lobbying me for more policing resources.
According to the latest crime statistics available, incidents of anti-social behaviour, criminal damage, arson and shoplifting are all rising in Hucknall.
Drugs offences, possession of weapons and public order offences are also on the rise since 2017.
Coun John Wilmott, who represents Hucknall North on the council, said: "I’d like to thank Coun Smith for listening to the pleas of local Ashfield Independent councillors and I look forward to Commissioner Henry’s response.
"The sale of our cop shop is bringing a huge amount of money in and this money needs to be spent on extra officers and resources locally.
"The fact is that crime has risen in our town since we lost our station and £1million extra in the fight crime and anti-social behaviour will make an enormous difference to Hucknall.”
Coun Wilmott added that a visible police presence will help make Hucknall safer.
He continued: “Let me make it clear – our serving officers do a great job.
"Their resources have been stretched to such an extent, however, that their service is largely reactive instead of proactive.
"Hucknall is the fastest-growing town in the whole of Nottinghamshire but the resources we receive from the police bosses is piecemeal.
"We have made sensible suggestions to police bosses to improve their service.
“This includes holding drop-in centres for residents to speak to officers in the under-used Hucknall Library.
"We pay an enormous amount of council tax towards policing – yet it feels like our police are continuing to prioritise policing in places like Nottingham City Centre.”