Police and Crime Commissioner Joy Allen is requesting the views of Newton Aycliffe residents on the future location of police premises, following the end of the 10-year lease at the fire and rescue premises on Central Avenue.
Officials say there have been various options explored for the possible relocation of both the Neighbourhood and Response policing teams.
But they are yet to find a permanent suitable building that satisfies all requirements for successful running of these teams.
Following Great Aycliffe Town Council’s Extraordinary meeting on October 11, members agreed to rescind the previous Motion requiring the police premises to be in the town centre.
However, the Town Council have asked the Police and Crime Commissioner to investigate the feasibility of an ‘out-of-town’ suitable building as well as a hub remaining in the Town Centre.
Commissioner Allen said: “Newton Aycliffe Neighbourhood Policing team will remain at the County Durham and Darlington Fire & Rescue Service offices whilst we find a suitable building in the town.
“This means local neighbourhood officers will be fully operational at the premises, and visible to our communities, whilst we work on alternative plans.
“The Constabulary has already viewed a number of premises in recent months but has discounted them as not being suitable as a police base, and is actively engaged in further work to identify suitable premises. This is why we need to understand the views of the public to ensure we find a solution which works for the town, is cost effective and operationally sound.
“I understand residents’ concerns and I want to assure people that we are working hard to identify a long-term solution that maintains local officers in the heart of the communities they serve.”
There are currently 25 response officers and a further three Neighbourhood Policing Team officers based at the current Fire & Rescue Service offices.
In the past nine weeks the current policing facility has seen on average 5.5 public visitors per day at their public contact point (front desk).
The reasons for these visits have not only been to report incidents but does include offenders attending to vary bail and registration processes.
Commissioner Allen is views of the public on the possible options for policing in Newton Aycliffe through the survey, which runs until 5pm on November 11, at this link.