By Alan Rodgers
A NEW PURPOSE-built PSNI station in the centre of Enniskillen cannot be ruled out as part of plans to modernise infrastructure available to police in the county, according to the Chief Constable, Simon Byrne.
The PSNI chief was speaking during a visit to the town last week during which he outined the challenges facing the organisation. He warned that £60 million in savings would have to be made during the next year and that ‘tough choices’ were imminent.
Among them could be the replacement of the historic current PSNI headquarters, which are over 200 years old. But he said the site was now in significant need’ of modernisation and did not rule out a move away to new premises.
“One of the things you’d see here is that when you get beyond our site is significant need of modernisation,” he said.
“You sit here today with the police building next door. It’s 200 years old and a fantastic relic of the Napoleonic era. It is sinking and the estate does need renewal and modernisation and some of the older buildings just aren’t efficient any more.
“I think, and again it sounds remote, if you can look 10 years ahead, magnificent as this place is it’s just not fit for purpose. So we will be looking at right across the country those building and sites and is it sensible to come out of.
“But clearly in a town like this you could not have a police station. But clearly if you’re building a more modern police station, then why wouldn’t you fit it for purpose for colleagues to work in.
“I certainly know from my conversations here how important it is to have a police presence in the town so we haven’t got to the stage where here is put up for reuse of sale. We would want to make sure that as part of that there is a newbuild at the same time because it is not a case of withdrawing from the town, just how we can do things better.”
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