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Surrey Police Headquarters Leaving Guildford for Leatherhead

Published on: 21 Mar, 2019
Updated on: 26 Apr, 2020

Mount Browne has been Surrey Police Headquarters for over 70 years – Photo Geograph

Surrey Police are moving their headquarters and operational base from Guildford’s Mount Browne to Leatherhead, the Police and Crime Commissioner, David Munro, said today (March 21).

The new £20.5 million HQ will be on the  10-acre site of the former Electrical Research Association and Cobham Industries on Cleeve Road, a more central area of the county.

The operational hub will house specialist teams, chief officers and senior leadership team, support, corporate functions and training facilities. It will replace police stations at Woking and Reigate as the main eastern divisional base. Neighbourhood policing teams will continue to operate from all 11 including Woking and Reigate.

Guildford and Staines police stations will be retained, accommodating western and northern divisional teams. The roads policing team and tactical firearms unit will move in from Burpham and Godstone. The new HQ will be a central hub for all roads and firearms teams.

The sale of those five sites will help offset the purchase price and the new HQ is planned to be fully operational in four to five years.

Mr Munro said: “This heralds the start of a new chapter in the proud history of Surrey Police. Some of our buildings, including Mount Browne, are outdated, poor quality, in the wrong place and expensive to manage and maintain. Mount Browne will remain the HQ until the Leatherhead site is fully up and running and then it will be disposed of.

“The Mount has been at the heart of policing in this county for almost 70 years but we must now look to the future and have a unique opportunity to design a new policing base fit for a modern force.

“An efficient estate will be created that will allow the Force to work in new ways. The new site will also be in a more central location in the county, close to the M25 and the town’s railway station.

“The most important factor is that we provide value for money and deliver an even better service to the public. We have looked carefully at the budget and even taking into account the inevitable relocation costs, I am satisfied this investment will provide savings in the long-term.

“A police force’s most valuable asset is, of course, the officers and staff who work around the clock to keep our county safe and this move will provide them with a much better working environment and support.

“I am well aware of the value Surrey residents place on local policing and I want to reassure people in Woking and Reigate that our local neighbourhood presence in those communities will not be affected by these plans.”

Temporary Chief Constable Gavin Stephens said: “A state of the art operational base and HQ will enable us to better meet the challenges of modern policing, allow us to be innovative and ultimately provide an even better policing service for Surrey people.

“Surrey Police have ambitious plans for the future and we’re investing in our people by providing the right training, technology and working environment to meet modern policing challenges. Our existing sites are expensive to run and restrict the way we work. Over the coming years, we’ll provide our teams with workplaces they can be proud of.

“Our changes in location will not alter how we respond to, work with, and consider ourselves a part of, Surrey’s many communities. These plans reflect our ambition to be an outstanding force and our commitment to providing high-quality policing in the heart of our communities.”

Cllr Paul Spooner, leader of Guildford council, said: “Although it is a shame that their headquarters will no longer be in Guildford, we are very reassured that their local neighbourhood services and Guildford police station will not be affected.  We also understand first-hand the need for all organisations to look for savings and innovative ways to deliver public services, including moving out of outdated or unsuitable premises.

“The emerging Local Plan already includes Mount Browne as a potential site, with an allocation for 116 homes. The published Land Availability Assessment (2017) identifies that development could be delivered within years six to 10 of the plan period.”

Cllr Susan Parker, the Guildford Greenbelt Group leader, added: “Of course it is important that the police service in Surrey is run as efficiently as possible, and if a new headquarters will improve efficiency then this is a matter for the police.

“I believe the site is within the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty so it is vital that any development there must respect the views, the landscape and the impact on the town as a whole.”

Click here for map of site.

 

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