The police and crime commissioner (PCC) for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight has said she’s prioritising police accessibility to the public, including in Bitterne, although a timescale for a police station front desk in the suburb hasn’t been given.
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Local police visibility, and access to neighbourhood policing teams, was one theme during a live streamed Q&A last month [from around 35mins in] with PCC Donna Jones, (Con), and the force’s chief constable Scott Chilton.
Jones said that a number of police stations on her patch were operational but not open to the public. She added she was looking at Bitterne, and the old Bitterne police station, and “how we can reform that”.
The Bitterne front counter service “moved to Portswood Police Station” in 2016, the year the old Whites Road station closed. The Portswood station was itself reopened in 2015 having been previously earmarked for closure.
Jones added during the streamed session that they’d be bringing information on opening various front counters across the area “in due course”.
Asked subsequently about timescales for a front desk in Bitterne, and plans for the old station, she told bitternepark.info:
“More police on the streets and increasing police visibility are my priorities as Police Commissioner, and police stations need to be as accessible to as many people as possible so residents and communities feel safer.
“I’m committed to opening up more police stations and we are looking at the old Bitterne police station and how we can reform that, as Bitterne is a key site so we’re looking at all the options there.
“This is part of a larger picture of ensuring more community-focused policing across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, with accessible police stations that are at the heart of local neighbourhoods.”
Sign in window of old Bitterne police station, taken in June 2021