Ripon police and fire service are set to share a home on Stonebridgegate from next year.
Boroughbridge will no longer have a stand-alone station, with officers moving to Ripon, it has been revealed, as North Yorkshire’s Police Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan announced plans to build new shared premises on the site of the current fire station
Ripon’s old police station was sold in October last year and it is expected that officers from Ripon and Boroughbridge will move into the fire station in 2016 and Boroughbridge police station will be sold before new buildings are completed in 2017.
Mrs Mulligan said: “I am very pleased to give the green light to this proposal for a new building shared with the fire authority. Co-location with other public-sector partners is very much the way forward, as we look for ways to reduce our costs and improve our service, and the Stonebridgegate site keeps the police right at the centre of Ripon.”
Boroughbridge Coun Robert Windass (Con) said people in the town have felt they have been without dedicated police for a number of years.
He said: “There is a joke around town that the lights are on at the station but there is nobody home.
“It seems to have been on the cards for a number of years but this announcement does seem a bit out of the blue. I remember years ago there was a police sargeant living in the house next to the, now it is just like everywhere else you see police cars around from time to time but crime rates are falling so maybe we are more honest.”
This comes a week after the National Rural Crime Network found that people living in rural areas are less satisfied with policing than in urban areas.
The estimated cost of the project is under £800,000 but Mrs Mulligan said the plans will save more than £120,000 per year in running costs.
The North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority has voted in favour of plans to relocate, however is currently consulting the public on potential cutbacks.
Though Ripon fire station is just half a mile from the city’s current police station, it is seven miles from Boroughbridge police station. Mrs Mulligan added: “The new building will involve some initial cost, but overall we will save a significant amount of money – money that is better spent on people, and not property.”
Dave Jones, Chief Constable of North Yorkshire Police, said: “It is excellent news. Our stations in Ripon and Boroughbridge were dilapidated, and not fit-for-purpose for a modern police service.
“The new building at Stonebridgegate will give us the facilities we need.”