The Education and Home Affairs Panel has agreed to undertake a review of the proposed relocation of the States of Jersey Police Headquarters to a site on the Green Street Car Park. The Panel is focusing on the question of ‘future proofing’, that is, whether the planned building meets the current and future requirements of the Police over the next half century.
The proposed site of the new Headquarters is a controversial one and the Panel is aware that there have been a number of concerns relating to planning issues such as the impact of the building on its immediate environment at the eastern Gateway to St Helier as well as the traffic implications and the loss of parking at Green Street. Deputy Judy Martin currently has a proposition (P.92/2012), which is due to be debated in the States on 20th November, which will allow the States to consider these issues.
The Scrutiny Panel’s review, on the other hand, is looking at the plans from the particular perspective of the police needs. It is considering issues such as:
• The security of the building and stand-off distances from neighbouring properties
• The flexibility of the accommodation to cope with future changes in policing and society
• The plans for police custody cells
• The potential requirement for expansion in the light of predictions for an increasing population
• Parking for visitors to the Police Headquarters and for police officers
Deputy Jeremy Maçon, Chairman of the Panel, said: ‘Concerns have been raised about the size of the Green Street site and whether it can accommodate all that is required of a modern combined Police Headquarters and operational Police Station. Our review is looking at whether the Green Street plans are ‘fit for purpose’.
It has taken many years to get to point of submitting a planning application for a new Police Station and there have been many ups and downs in this process. We fully support the need for the Police to be properly accommodated but we want to ensure that the implications of this latest proposal for Police operations now and in the future have been fully considered from all angles.
Our review differs from the usual process for Scrutiny reviews which are conducted through public hearings. We have already held a number of meetings with the Minister for Home Affairs, the States of Jersey Police and their advisers, as well as a representative of the Police Association. We have been given access to documents dealing with the security requirements for the police building so these discussions have been held in private.
We intend to report our findings to the States in time for the debate on Deputy Martin’s proposition.’
Category: Finance & Business