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Police chief defends sale of station

PUBLISHED: 15:13 09 January 2008 | UPDATED: 11:27 01 July 2010

A VICTORIAN police station is to go under the hammer after it was deemed too pokey for today s officers. The decision to sell Beckenham police station, a listed building in the High Street, was made last month as the site is no longer fit for purpose

A VICTORIAN police station is to go under the hammer after it was deemed "too pokey" for today's officers.

The decision to sell Beckenham police station, a listed building in the High Street, was made last month as the site is "no longer fit for purpose".

The police station has been closed to the public since May 2007 and is expected to go to auction in the next few months.

The sale follows the suggested closure of Penge police station which is currently under public consultation until March 31.

Borough Commander for Bromley police, Charles Griggs, said he wanted to reassure residents the closure would not affect policing services.

He said: "If anything, people will see an improvement in policing. Beckenham police station has not been in use for a while since we moved a stone's throw to Albemarle Road. If I had the money I would buy it myself, it's a lovely building in a fantastic location.

"But it is not fit for our purpose. It' a series of pokey offices which are no good to anyone and we owe it to our staff and the public to provide better facilities."

Bromley has seen a shift in the management of policing in recent years.

Previously there were four main police stations at Bromley, Orpington, Penge and Beckenham.

Now there is one central office at Bromley and nine community police stations which house two or three Safer Neighbourhood Teams consisting of a sergeant, two police constables and up to six police community support officers.

Another two sites for community police offices at Walpole Road, Bromley and Maple Road, Penge have had 10 year leases agreed on them and two other sites have been earmarked.

Mr Griggs said that the closure of Penge police station was just a matter of time.

He added: "It is extremely expensive to run and as soon as a more suitable site becomes available, we will move".

At present there are 483 police officers, 86 police staff and 147 police community support officers based in Bromley.

Bromley police station was purposely built in 2003 to be a centre point for operations and response. It is open 24 hours a day and has 27 custody cells.

Orpington police station is one of three stations with eight cells used by the Met for Operation Safeguard which provides emergency custody facilities for the prison overflow.

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