All Forest police stations to close

Monday 16th January 2012 12:00 am
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ALL police stations in the Forest are to close and the thin blue line run from the district council offices in Coleford.

Gloucestershire's Police Authority has decided to close the stations at Coleford, Cinderford and Lydney.

All police operations will move to the council offices at Coleford.

This comes on top of the recent closure of Newent police station which sparked a major row in the town amid claims it had sent out the wrong message.

Now the police will move into shared accommodation with staff from the Forest of Dean District Council which recently voted to rent out the bottom floor of the Coleford HQ to raise revenue.

Gloucestershire police say they will set up police Points to replace the closed stations in Lydney and Cinderford.

Controversially they decided it was unfair to consult the public because the authority had little choice on the matter.

Police Authority Chairman, Councillor Rob Garnham, said the move was to honour the pledge "bobbies before buildings".

He said: "Moving the police base in to the council offices in Coleford will improve upon the already excellent partnership working that happens between the police and local authority.

"It is also the best possible use of public money. Council buildings and police buildings are, in reality, all owned by the tax payer and we have a duty to make sure we get the best value out of every pound we spend on our estates. "

Forest Policing Superintendent Phil Haynes said the move would build on strong working relationship with the district council over issues such as licensing and anti social behaviour.

He said: "The district council has kindly offered us a base for all of our Forest officers, and we will ensure we still maintain our patrols and response to incidents all over the district."

For more see Thursday's Forester.

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