RESIDENTS will not be able to drop in to see police officers on Hayling – even when they are based in the island’s public library.
Last night the officer in charge of selling off police buildings in Hampshire spelled out the future of the Hayling Safer Neighbourhood Team.
The public have not been able to drop in to speak to officers since March 2012 when the police station’s front desk closed.
And that will be the remain the case when officers move to the library in Elm Grove. There will be a sign outside which says there is no public access.
Chief Inspector Rob Heath told residents at The Bridge Centre, on the island, ‘We’re only moving, not leaving the area.’
He said: ‘Although they will be based at the library the idea is they will be highly visible, out on the streets where they need to be.
‘I’m well aware there have been a number of closures of front counters. Some were only seeing four or five people a day. Those members of staff would be better off out on the streets dealing with far more people.’
The force is selling off under-used and outdated buildings, including Hayling police station, in South Road.
It will go on the market soon and the Safer Neighbourhood Team will move to the library as soon as it is sold.
Resident Paul Fisher said he was concerned the library had only recently redeveloped the room the police are going to take over.
But library manager Julia Nelson-Tomsen said the police were compensating the library for that and a new room was being made into a drop-in room for workshops which could be used by the community.
John Perry, who lives on the island, said: ‘It’s quite right and proper the police service is efficient. Rationalising real estate and premises is sensible.
‘I welcome this move to close the police station.’