Surrey Police to relocate staff from Reigate Police Station due to presence of RAAC
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Surrey Police is to relocate staff and officers from Reigate Police Station following the discovery of Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) in the building’s construction, and advice from structural engineers.
When national news about the use of RAAC in school construction hit the headlines last month (September), Surrey Police began proactively assessing buildings for the presence of RAAC.
Buildings were initially risk-assessed and prioritised based on the age of the building and whether the roofing was flat or pitched, as RAAC was mainly used in flat roofs.
As part of this review, thorough assessments conducted by structural engineers confirmed that RAAC was present in the construction of Reigate Police Station. The engineer concluded that the majority of the RAAC was in good condition and did not present any immediate risk to users. However, one section in the external area of the rear-wing on the southside of the building was showing signs of distress.
Following advice from the structural engineer, the Force immediately relocated the staff and officers who used this part of the building within the other areas of the police station, and started to install Acrow-prop supports. This area has been signed off for re-occupation by the structural engineers and the Force have instructed the engineers to undertake weekly checks of the rest of the site. This work enables our Neighbourhood Policing team to remain operational from Reigate Police Station until a longer-term solution can be found.
The Force is currently exploring options for the ongoing use of the building, with the proactive relocation of some teams to work remotely or from alternative sites taking place following our robust business continuity plans.
Temporary Assistant Chief Constable (T/ACC) for local policing, Alison Barlow, said, “The health and safety of our staff, officers, volunteers, and the public is of paramount importance and the Force responded swiftly following the identification of RAAC at Reigate Police Station. In the short-term some teams, including our Neighbourhood Policing Teams, who spend much of their time away from the police station patrolling and attending calls for service, remain in the area of Reigate police station with prop-supports in place whilst longer-term options are explored, and those teams who are office-based and can work remotely or from another police site are being supported to do so."
One of the moves is the relocation of our public facing front counter service which will move to Caterham Police Station with effect from Monday 30 October 2023 ensuring the public can continue to report crime and speak to us in person. Our opening hours will remain the same, 08:00 - 22:00 seven days a week excluding Christmas Day. Reigate Police Station currently monitors the public spaces CCTV camera for Mole Valley District Council. Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond our control, we will no longer be able to continue this service but we will work with our local authority partners to explore potential technical solutions.
Concluding, Police and Crime Commissioner Lisa Townsend said: “I want to reassure our local communities across East Surrey that plans are already in place to ensure the policing service they receive will not be affected by the situation at Reigate Police Station.
“The safety of the public and our officers, staff and volunteers must be the most important consideration and I fully support the prompt action being taken by the Force to vacate the majority of the building.
“This, of course, is a temporary measure, and my office will work closely with the Chief Constable and his team to ensure that we can find a long-term solution for the future of our Eastern Divisional HQ as quickly as possible.
“This is a challenging time for our policing teams based at Reigate, but they are incredibly resilient in the face of adversity, and I want to thank them all on behalf of the public for their patience and understanding whilst we deal with this issue.”
These changes will not impact the high level of service our communities expect from the Force as we strive to keep our communities safe and make Surrey the safest county it can be.
If you need to report a crime, please visit our website www.surrey.police.uk where you will be able to contact us via direct message on social media or by calling 101. If you do not wish to speak to police, you can call independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.