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Guildford Police Station to Close – Officers to Move to Mount Browne HQ

Published on: 15 May, 2024
Updated on: 17 May, 2024

Guildford Police Station. Photo Google Street View

By Chris Caulfield

local democracy reporter

Guildford Police Station will close and officers move out of the town centre as part of plans to redevelop the force’s headquarters in Mount Browne.

If the move goes ahead residents would be left with only a counter service.

The force published proposals in April to update ageing accommodation blocks, build a new call centre,  modernise dog training kennels and accommodation for students.

It also released a statement about its ambitions to transform its Old Portsmouth Road headquarters in Guildford and called on residents to have their say.

See also: Modernised Surrey Police Headquarters Will Require New Access Road

It has since been confirmed that the plans include closing Guildford Police Station off Woodbridge Road, leaving just a public-facing counter service in the town centre for “ease of public access” – after senior officers were pressed on the matter.

The police say this will improve response time for officers attending high-risk incidents.

The application to redevelop its Mount Browne HQ follows a public consultation in August last year when community groups, businesses, and residents, within a 2.5 km radius of Mount Browne, were invited to view the plans and ask questions.

The two-part application also included a new access road onto the site, which the force said would relieve traffic in the neighbouring residential areas.

The plans, the force said, received “overwhelming support during this process”. They did not, the Local Democracy Reporting Service understands, include mention of the closure of Guildford Police Station.

Guildford Police Station from Woodbridge Road. Photo Google Street View

A resident told the LDRS: “The big story is that Surrey Police will be closing the Guildford station altogether.

“All response for Guildford Town Centre will either come from mobile units or out of Mount Browne and along Portsmouth Road back into town.

“The point is omitted in all the planning docs.”

A spokesperson for Surrey Police said: “As part of our Surrey Estates Strategy we are committed to ensuring that we deliver the best policing service possible, by ensuring our people are in the right locations and in buildings that are fit for purpose.

“We have worked closely with our partners at Guildford Borough Council on the proposed redevelopment of Mount Browne which is currently open for public consultation.

“The proposals would see teams relocating from Guildford Police Station to Mount Browne, improving emergency response times for police units attending high-risk incidents, and a public front counter presence would be maintained in the town centre for ease of public access.

“There would be no use of ‘mobile units’, and these proposals are contingent on the redevelopment of Mount Browne.”

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Responses to Guildford Police Station to Close – Officers to Move to Mount Browne HQ

  1. George Potter Reply

    May 15, 2024 at 12:08 pm

    Very deft timing by our newly re-elected Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner; keeping any mention of Guildford police station out of the consultation so that the news doesn’t come out until just after she’s been re-elected.

    So much for democracy.

    George Potter is a Lib Dem borough councillor for Burpham and county councillor for Guildford East

  2. Lottie Harding Reply

    May 15, 2024 at 12:50 pm

    Sounds like a great opportunity for the police to move its town centre counter service to sit in the council offices and provide joined up public services like they have in other towns and for that hideous grey tower block to be redeveloped.

    • Mark Stamp Reply

      May 17, 2024 at 1:28 pm

      Given the council have also suggested a possible move out of Millmead and have a counter in the town as well as concerns of the future of services such as tourist information I think this is a fantastic idea which should include Surrey County Council and voluntary sector organisations such as Citizens Advice and Voluntary Action.

      Editor’s comment: Voluntary Action are already located in Millmead House.

  3. Geoff Tonks Reply

    May 15, 2024 at 1:03 pm

    Cllr Potter’s hypocrisy is absolutely staggering. For months Guildford’s Lib Dem Council Leader refused to answer the Dragon’s questions about the lack of political oversight of the millions of pounds lost in the Housing Overspend scandal. Then, when she did consent to an interview, she insisted that nothing was recorded.

    Also, as the Dragon recently revealed, it was in September 2022 that whistle blowers (plural) raised the alarm about the housing overspend, yet nothing was revealed to the public until after the local elections in May 2023. Clearly our Lib Dem Council believes that “transparency” is something they should preach, but not practice.

  4. Dave Middleton Reply

    May 15, 2024 at 1:27 pm

    I was aware of the plan to move the response teams to Mount Browne, but what about the relatively recently extended and upgraded custody suite (cells) and the CID / other investigative functions, based at Guildford?

    Is the building to be completely emptied and disposed of? Some clarity from the PCC / Chief Constable would be appreciated.

  5. Tim May Reply

    May 15, 2024 at 1:58 pm

    So no police station in Godalming or Guildford?

    This will, it is said, free up the police to improve “emergency response times for police units attending high-risk incidents”.

    So I assume mugging, assault and shop lifting will not count as “high risk”.

    Guildford has just been declared as an open city.

  6. Barry Williams Reply

    May 15, 2024 at 6:17 pm

    This news is hardly surprising, the police station and adjoining court buildings were featured in GBC proposals from a few years ago that would see their demolition and replacement within a new administrative centre for the town. This proposal would also replace the existing Council offices at Millmead with a mixed housing scheme of up to five storeys.

    The police station closure was also made known by Surrey Police when recently putting forward their plans and public consultation and open site visits to re model the Mount Browne site. More pertinent perhaps is to know if the original scheme for the administrative centre is a part of the strategy document Shaping Guildford’s Future.

  7. Jim Allen Reply

    May 15, 2024 at 6:20 pm

    I think the police have failed to understand the impact an out of town location will have on the need for local policing and access to all.

    Mind you, less office space should mean more police on the streets.

  8. David Smith Reply

    May 15, 2024 at 9:47 pm

    I’m not sure anyone from the Lib Dem managed council is in a position to criticise given the current “shocking” mess.

    Also, if the Magistrates Court could be relocated such a move together with the Police Station will free up a massive development opportunity and provide much needed space for housing.

  9. Frank Emery Reply

    May 16, 2024 at 10:38 am

    I didn’t realise we had any police in Guildford.

  10. Anthony Mallard Reply

    May 16, 2024 at 11:46 am

    May I make a plea on behalf of many who have a mobility disability. Please do not locate the town centre police office or counter service in the part of the High Street that closes mid-morning. To do so will effectively prevent any contact, by this group, during a major part of the day and whenever the road is closed to traffic.

    Blue badge schemes set down specific walking distance criteria for mobility disabled people and even if one parks in North Street one would be in breach of that aspect of one’s blue badge.

  11. Aubrey Leahy Reply

    May 16, 2024 at 3:01 pm

    Absolutely barmy. No police station in the town? There is virtually zero public transport to get to Mount Browne which means ’twill be incredibly difficult to access for members of the public, the judiciary, police who travel by train to get to work who can now walk to the current station and those members of the public without transport.

    There will also be no police station next to the law courts. Imagine the logistics of that.

    As for redevelopment it is over 40 years since the old station was closed and the site has still not yet been redeveloped but remains a single level car park!

    My father, the last of the “Borough Boys”, had he not been cremated, would surely be turning in his grave! As, if I were not still alive, would I.

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