Police office set for opening

Police covering the Morpeth sector will be based at Austin House (entrance is dark green) in Sanderson Arcade.
Police covering the Morpeth sector will be based at Austin House (entrance is dark green) in Sanderson Arcade.

Morpeth’s new neighbourhood police office will open on Thursday.

The Neighbourhood Policing Team for the area is moving to Sanderson Arcade from the station at Castle Square. It has been planned for several months following research and community feedback.

Officers will be based at Austin House. Its entrance is adjacent to the Central Bean coffee shop and it is accessible via a lift and stairs.

The days and times when the Castle Square station is open – Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm – will be the same at the new office.

The force carried out consultation with information displays in February at Morpeth Town Hall and the Morrisons supermarket to give residents the opportunity to give their views on the proposals.

The vast majority of people who responded supported the move.

Vera Baird, Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner said: “We canvassed local opinion earlier this year and the responses showed that people believed this was the right move for the town.

“We’re extremely pleased that Morpeth’s new neighbourhood policing office will soon be open for residents and visitors to use. As we have always said, we won’t make these moves unless the public is satisfied that it will help us sustain good service and that seems very clear here.

“Sanderson Arcade is a busy shopping and commercial area for the town and attracts residents and visitors alike. People going about their routine business will more easily be able to visit the office and speak to police.

“The neighbourhood team will also benefit by being in the main thoroughfare in the heart of their community.

“This move is a good example of our determination to make sure we get good value from the money we spend on our police premises. By being based in newer community buildings, it means we can dispose of our outdated and expensive to maintain older premises and obtain savings in our running costs.”

Morpeth Police Station at Castle Square will now be put up for sale – the proceeds from it will be put back into policing.

Chief Superintendent Steve Neill, Northern Area Commander, said: “I’m delighted neighbourhood officers are moving into new premises in Sanderson Arcade.

“It provides an accessible base for officers to patrol Morpeth from and provides a highly visible police presence in the town centre, which is a priority for the force. Residents can call in to seek advice from an officer or report a crime.

“The team are looking forward to building even stronger links with residents and businesses alike, please do stop and speak to an officer when you see them on patrol in the town.”

To contact the Morpeth Neighbourhood Policing Team by telephone, call 101, extension 69191.