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South Tyneside Council Press Release Regarding New South Shields Neighbourhood Policing Base

24th February 2015

The Leader of South Tyneside Council has welcomed the decision that neighbourhood police officers will remain at the heart of the community they serve with a switch to new premises.

Northumbria Police officers are set to move into former Council housing offices in Horsley Hill Square, South Shields.

Council Leader Iain Malcolm met with Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird to check out the new police base as well as discuss plans for the future of policing in South Tyneside.

The neighbourhood policing operations will transfer to Horsley Hill from the police station in nearby Sunderland Road, Harton Village, which has become expensive to maintain due to the age of the building.

The move is part of Northumbria Police’s rationalisation programme to ensure buildings are fit for purpose and offer value for money.

As part of this streamlining process South Tyneside and Sunderland Area Commands are being amalgamated, with the Millbank Station in South Shields to remain as the new Southern Area Command base.

Police in Hebburn are also set to move into the town’s fire station in Victoria Road West, from their current base in Victoria Road East. It is proposed that the police station in North Road, Boldon Colliery, will relocate to Boldon Community Association, which is easily accessible for the public and at the heart of community activity.

Councillor Malcolm said: “We are delighted that South Tyneside is not only retaining its Area Command but that community policing will be protected in the East Shields area with a new base in Horsley Hill Square and across the wider area with new locations in Hebburn and Boldon.

“We are also pleased that police are in discussions with residents in Westoe Crown Village about potentially offering drop-in sessions from their new community centre. This would provide local people with the opportunity to meet with their neighbourhood police officers in an informal setting to get crime prevention advice or raise any issues of concern.

“Police placed at the heart of our communities will ensure that South Tyneside residents have continued access to local police services. Vera Baird has delivered this. It also means that policing will remain visible across the Borough, which is important in helping to drive down crime and disorder and making communities safer – a top priority for the Council.”

With a focus on neighbourhood policing teams sharing buildings with other organisations where possible, police will be based in the first floor offices of the former Horsley Hill housing office, which is currently being renovated by South Tyneside Homes Property Services. The Council-owned office space would be leased to Northumbria Police.

At ground level, the building will accommodate retail premises, including a coffee shop and hairdressing salon.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird said: “South Tyneside Council has a proud record of working in partnership with organisations to help reduce crime and disorder.

“Councillor Malcolm has been at the forefront of ensuring the new police bases are in the best location possible to serve the residents of South Shields, Hebburn and Boldon.

“By working with the Council, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service and Boldon Community Association, we are providing fit for purpose police bases which will better serve local communities and the savings made are going directly back into policing to keep police officers on the beat in Northumbria.”