Barton Street Police Station recommended for closure
BARTON Street Police Station is earmarked for closure – just a year after violent outbreaks in the street.
The building is up for "disposal" or sale in an updated version of Gloucestershire Police Authority's Estate Strategy document. It would be replaced by a "police point" for the area.
Just over a year ago, Barton was at the centre of a night of violent outbreaks and arrests as the 2011 summer riots swept the country.
The most up-to-date figures, for June this year, show 832 crimes and incidents were reported within one mile of Barton Street during the month.
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The Police Authority, which recommends closing the station, is disbanding later this year, to be replaced with an elected Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC).
It will fall to them to make the ultimate decision on the future of the station.
City councillor Usman Bhaimia (Lab, Barton and Tredworth) said: "It will be a disaster for the area.
"Crime will rise because people won't have any fear if they know there isn't a building full of police officers there any more.
"We have enough problems in Barton, especially with prostitution. I think they know that if they ask people what they think, everyone will be against it."
In March last year, plans to shut 14 community police stations in an £18million budget-slashing drive were revealed by Gloucestershire Police. Barton Street was not originally among them.
Tony Ward, chairman of Barton and Tredworth Residents' Association, said: "I certainly hope they decide not to close it. Barton and Tredworth needs that station. If it closes I do think crime will go up."
Martin Surl, independent candidate for the PCC role who spotted the change to the Estate Strategy, said: "My gut reaction is it's a bad idea but my big problem with it is that no-one has been told about it."
A police spokesman said: "This is a long term strategy which aims to provide buildings that are fit for purpose. This will be an issue for the Police and Crime Commissioner to determine."