Many of the teams that will re-locate to Leatherhead are central Surrey-wide teams, or work on behalf of the Eastern division as a whole (covering Reigate and Banstead, Mole Valley, Epsom and Ewell and Tandridge local authority areas) so a new base for these teams will not affect the service the public receive.
All Neighbourhood Policing Teams and Safer Neighbourhood Teams will continue to operate from each of the county’s boroughs as they currently do.
A local policing presence will still be maintained throughout the county.
The aim was to find a site that provides good access to the main road network as well as public transport and local amenities.
The new site will replace Mount Browne, Reigate and Woking Police Stations and the sites at Godstone and Burpham, all of which will be sold to help fund the new facility.
We found a suitable site in March 2019 and have been working on the design in 2020 and are going to be submitting our planning application in Q2 of 2021. There will then be a further two years required for construction. We will be looking to move in around Spring/Summer of 2024 and move from our existing sites.
As part of our wider Estates Strategy, we conducted a review of Mount Browne, Reigate and Woking sites and found that they currently provide poor value and are unlikely to meet the future needs of modern policing. These buildings are proving to be costly to run and the working environments are poor for our staff.
A number of factors were considered and the decision was ratified by the Police and Crime Commissioner and the Force’s Chief Officers.
A central Surrey site in the Dorking/Leatherhead area will ensure that our specialist and support teams have good road access to respond to demand across the county. This location will also facilitate stronger links with our partner forces across the South East and ensure that we are able to maximise opportunities arising as we move towards greater cross-region collaboration. A further benefit is that a site in this area enables us to co-locate the replacement eastern division hub with the new HQ, reducing the costs involved and enabling us to maximise savings in our estate running costs.
The plans will not affect local response times as Neighbourhood Policing Teams will continue to be based within their boroughs. Response times for more specialist, force-wide teams should see an overall improvement as the new site is more optimally based to serve the whole county.
A main contractor will be appointed in Spring 2021 and the construction will take around 2 years.
The new building will house a whole range of corporate and support departments as well as the force-wide specialist operational teams. It will also act as the main hub for the Eastern division policing teams. It is anticipated that in the region of 1800 officers and staff will be based there but many work shifts and others will have the ability to work from other sites or from home so the number on site at any one time will be significantly less than this.
Although many teams are moving to the new HQ, the local policing teams which are made up of the Neighbourhood Policing teams Neighbourhood Specialist Officers. PCSO’s and supporting community roles will not be based at headquarters. Each of these teams will be based within their boroughs, so Mole Valley, Reigate and Banstead. There should be no noticeable change in police visibility as a result of the move to Leatherhead.
The front counter service at Woking Police Station will move into the borough council offices before the station is closed. Similarly a replacement front counter will be provided within Reigate and Banstead borough, though it has not been confirmed where this will be at this stage.
We are planning on creating a new memorial garden/feature at the new site in Leatherhead. We know that the Memorial Garden and a number of memorial trees mean a lot to people and we will ensure that we consult with all stakeholders to work out how to deal with them in a sensitive way.
Vacating these sites is still a long way off but we understand that many employees have a strong attachment to them and we will consider how best to recognise this and enable people to say goodbye before we move on to a new chapter in our history.
If you have a question that hasn’t been answered above, please feel free to contact the Building the Future Team at – [email protected]