The former police station at South Ockendon is to go up for sale as part of delivering our Estate Strategy and the ongoing review of our assets across the county. We continue to realise savings by removing parts of our estate that are inefficient and not best placed to deliver community policing fit for the 21st century to ensure we can provide efficient and effective policing to our communities now and in the future.
The former police station on Darenth Lane, South Ockendon, closed to the public in 2016 and our intention to sell it formed part of our 2015 public announcements.
Our officers and staff will continue to be visible and accessible to the South Ockendon community – as they are now.
You will continue to see your local officers
Chief Superintendent Jenny Barnett, Commander for our West Local Policing Area, which covers South Ockendon, said: “We know that police stations are symbolically important, but the reality is it is police officers who catch criminals, protect victims, prevent crime, and engage with our communities. “The sale of a police building won't change that; you will continue to see your local officers out and about doing what they do best - protecting you. “Our dedicated Community Policing Team has been operating successfully from nearby Grays Police Station for some time now, and most importantly our officers and Police Community Support Officers are visible every day in South Ockendon.”
As has been well publicised since 2015, we have continued to sell parts of our estate that are old, inefficient, out of date or not best geographically placed to serve the needs of our communities. Some also require a significant investment to maintain as well as to bring them up to a standard fit for the purpose of modern policing.
Whilst we have sold some buildings, we have: invested in refurbishing strategically placed police stations that can serve our communities and remain publicly accessible; invested in shared co-locations with our partners to ensure financial efficiency and enhance partnership working; and continued to invest in a police service that is visible and accessible to all our communities with more than 3,755 officers currently protecting and serving Essex.
We want officers out in their communities – both rural, urban, and coastal – not behind a desk because it is police officers that catch criminals, protect victims, and prevent crime.
Better connected to the community
Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said: “We all want to see more officers out in our communities helping to prevent crime and keeping us safe. Since 2016 we have recruited 905 extra officers and Essex Police now has more officers than ever before. Many of these officers are already in communities across Essex and even more will be joining them as they complete their training. “By managing our resources sensibly, investing in a modern estate and making sure we spend on officers on patrol, not on buildings which are no longer fit for purpose, we can create a force that is better connected to the community, better resourced and more able to get crime down.”
More available to the public
In addition to the accessibility and visibility of our officers, we have worked hard to make ourselves more available to the public. We continue to:
Operate a number of police stations across the county which are open to the public;
Have a digital 101 service on our website for people to report crime as well as a Live Chat function
Routinely hold and attend meetings with our public in addition to engaging with them when we are out and about;
We have also created our new e-newsletter called Dispatch which gives people regular weekly updates about how we have secured justice and continue to protect you, our public.
The Essex Police front counter at Grays is staffed by Essex Police employees from 9am to 5pm Monday to Sunday.