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New police station on the Isle of Wight officially opened

12 January 2024

The Police and Crime Commissioner, Donna Jones, is continuing to deliver on her promise to drive up police visibility with the official opening of the new Cowes police station.

The PCC and the Chief Constable, Scott Chilton, cut the ribbon in front of the building on the High Street in Cowes on Friday 12 January 2024.

It is the first police station to open as part of the PCC’s pledge to reopen 10 more police stations and front counters to the public across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight over the next 18 months.

PCC Donna Jones said: “The public have consistently told me they want more police stations, more police officers, and more visibility of the police so they can feel safer and be safer.

“The Chief Constable and I are working day in day out to ensure that police officers are in the heart of all communities, and by strengthening neighbourhood policing we can drive up police visibility, drive down crime, and deliver stronger and safer communities for all.

“This official opening marks another important step in the fight against criminals, enabling swifter justice, further police engagement, and more protection and support for victims. The Chief and I will continue to work tirelessly to make sure people feel more connected than ever before.”

Chief Constable Scott Chilton said: “I made commitments to the local people of the Isle of Wight that I would further strengthen policing directly in the towns and villages on the Island. I am delighted to see neighbourhood policing return to the heart of Cowes, as it is only right that local people have direct access to their local officers.

“The Cowes Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) will be based in the new office on the High Street allowing them to maintain that visible police presence in the town and surrounding areas to keep you protected. It will also offer an open door to the public, enabling officers to listen first-hand to your concerns and act swiftly upon the issues that matter most to you, and ultimately to uphold my commitment to deliver an exceptional local policing service.

“Their visibility is important in deterring crime. Equally, they will be proactive in ensuring they know who is committing crime and anti-social behaviour in your town in order to ensure we relentlessly pursue criminals, put victims first and deliver traditional local policing. All of our teams across the Island do a fantastic job serving the public, but I know there is more to do. The opening of the new NPT base in Cowes demonstrates our commitment to serve you and to work within the heart of our communities.

“This is the first step for the Island under the Commissioner’s wider plan to open more stations in our Force area, including on the Isle of Wight. I know that there is a strong desire to have a police station with a front counter open to the public in Ryde, including on weekends, and thanks to the Commissioner’s investment you will have this too – this is expected to be open to the public in Autumn.”

The new station in Cowes will be open to the public for drop-ins and pre-arranged appointments. Officers will be ready to welcome the public to drop in and report a crime, meet their local team or just get advice weekly from 19 January. Further opening times will be advertised on the screen at front of the police station and on the Isle of Wight Police social media pages.

PCC Donna Jones added: “I’m delighted to have opened the new Cowes police station today, and I’m not stopping there because I’ll also be reopening Ryde police station later this year. That means residents, businesses and communities across the Island will have three publicly accessible police stations.”

Ryde police station will be open to the public on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, whilst Newport will continue to be open to the public every day.

Isle of Wight MP, Bob Seely, said: “I would like to thank Donna Jones for her hard work in reopening a police station in Cowes. Donna and I have been working to deliver a better deal on policing. The result is that, with additional resource, crime has reduced and police officers are becoming more accessible to the public once again.

“We now have a Roads Policing Unit back on the Island and an additional 30 police officers are on the Island tackling crime so the net is closing on offenders all the time. We’re also working on getting better support for victims of sexual assault on the Island.

“The public can be reassured that, from now, they will increasingly be able to access their local police officers through the reopening of police stations across the Island and also through named officers in local communities. There’s a lot of work being done to help make our streets safe and drive down crime.”

The plan to reopen 10 more police stations and front counters to the public was announced by the Police and Crime Commissioner last September, increasing from 13 to 23 in total across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

The successful recruitment of 650 extra police officers and the Commissioner’s commitment to bring back named ‘Local Bobbies’ to every community are also key components of the PCC’s drive to increase police visibility across the two counties.