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Cookstown to get new PSNI station

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

THE Northern Ireland Policing Board has confirmed that a new station will be built in Cookstown.

It has also been confirmed that Armagh and Ballymena will also get new stations.

However, 12 stations, including one in Aughnacloy and one in Maghera, are to be sold off.

Announcing plans for the Policing Estate over the next three years the 2016 PSNI Estate Strategy outlines the PSNI plans for major and minor works, custody provision and proposed station disposals up until 2019.

The strategy aims to develop a 'fit for purpose' Police Estate for the next 35-50 years.

The current estate is valued at 445 million and it is estimated the PSNI will spend around 90 million on estate related works.

The disposal of these 12 stations will result in around 1.5 million capital sales receipts and around 800,000 savings per annum in running costs.

Reflecting on the plans, Assistant Chief Constable Stephen Martin said: "We are aware that the permanent closure and disposal of stations is an emotive issue and can have an effect on community confidence.

"Times have changed and due to advancements in technology as well as continuing budgetary restraints, the Police Service continues to look at new ways of providing the most effective service to the public in the most efficient way.

"The reality is that nearly all Policing services are delivered outside of stations. Policing isn't about buildings, it is about officers working with the community in order to protect them, prevent crime and deter criminals."

Mid-Ulster Ulster Unionist MLA, Sandra Overend, welcomed the new-build scheme for Cookstown but demanded more details from the PSNI.

She noted that Maghera Police Station has been closed for two years, but described the decision to sell as disappointing.

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