Following a six-week consultation, Cheshire Constabulary’s management board has agreed to relocate Risley police base in Warrington to Birchwood Fire Station.
Currently, Risley police base is located on Delenty Drive, which is a no-through road in a quiet residential area of Birchwood. It provides a base for suspect interviews, meetings and for local PCSOs to book on/off their shifts. It also operates a help desk Monday to Friday between 10am and 3pm.
A service and estates review found that this police base no longer suits today’s policing operational needs. The building is too large, it requires considerable investment to upgrade its facilities and has limited visibility and public access. It also revealed that for every 100 people who accessed the Warrington help desk on Arpley Street, only two people accessed the Risley help desk, giving it the lowest level of demand of any help desk across Cheshire.
As part of the public consultation, Cheshire police asked for local peoples’ views on the proposals to re-locate Risley police base to Birchwood Fire Station, just 0.4 miles from its current location and to move the current help desk functions to Warrington police station which is open Monday to Saturday 8am to 8pm and Sunday 8am to 6pm.
The police community base at Birchwood library will also continue to operate as appoint of access for members of the public.
A total of 113 responses were received to the consultation with 82% agreeing that Birchwood Fire Station is a suitable location for a new police base. Exactly half the respondents agreed that the main helpdesk in Warrington was a suitable replacement for the Risley helpdesk.
At the joint management board meeting yesterday (Wednesday 3 April 2019), Police and Crime Commissioner David Keane approved the proposals.
David said: “The relocation of Risley police base will provide an increased police presence for local residents in a more accessible location. It will also provide improved facilities for officers and PCSOs to work from and conduct meetings with members of the public. The relocation of the help desk to Warrington will ensure local residents can access more services during longer opening hours.
“As part of this decision, I have asked that the Constabulary put in place a plan to ensure the new police base offers even more opportunities for residents to have face-to-face interaction with officers.”
The change is also expected to save the Constabulary £493,000 over the course of ten years, which will be reinvested into front line policing.
Assistant Chief Officer Julie Gill said: “The decision supports the force’s commitment for a police estate that is fit for the future based on operational need and to have a police service connected with its local communities. The decision will retain a police base within the local community at Birchwood Fire Station and achieve cost savings that can be re-invested into neighbourhood policing.”
An implementation plan for the move is currently being drawn up.