Police stations

I have just come home after collecting signatures for the petition to save our police stations in Shoreham and Lancing.

I just wanted to write to say how overwhelmed I was with warm support and helpful suggestions.

The closures were announced so suddenly that even the councillors responsible for policing found out from the Herald’s reporter.

If only Katy Bourne thought to ask people first – we pay for the services after all. The last consultation held by Sussex Police took place before the election of Katy Bourne. And the result? The majority of respondents called for ‘more visible policing’, not less.

If the police did decide to discuss this with residents, they’d probably be taken aback by the thoughtful and understanding response.

In my conversations with residents in recent weeks, a lot of people have said that they understand the need for some cuts, but are frustrated that the decision to close the police stations has been made without any public discussion, nor any real alternatives being in place.

Some said that the police’s influence would be undermined if they had to operate out of a library or community centre. Others wondered where all the police vehicles would park if the police stations were sold off.

Someone else came up with a brilliant idea to address the police visibility issue – why not bring back the ‘Tardis’ or police boxes that used to stand proudly along the seafront?

They were practical, low cost and provided a central and visible base for community policing.

What a pity Katy Bourne was not willing to ask people’s views before she scrapped the police stations. She might have got some good ideas from the people she was elected to represent.

Jemima Bland

Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for East Worthing and Shoreham