Police sign lease for new building at Uttlesford District Council

The Lodge building, which will house police officers and support staff from next year

The Lodge building, which will house police officers and support staff from next year

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A new operational police base will open in Saffron Walden next year after a deal has been struck between Essex Police and Uttlesford District Council (UDC).

Officers and staff will soon be housed within the grounds of UDC’s London Road site after a lease was signed for The Lodge.

The self-contained building will be used as an operational facility by Essex Police, with local and community policing teams as well as special constables for Braintree and Uttlesford based on-site.

The police front desk at the main UDC offices will continue to be open for residents to report crime five days a week.

Essex Police says work will begin to get the building up to the technological and security standards required as soon as possible, and hopes to have officers and staff in place by early next year.

Chief Inspector Craig Carrington, district commander for Braintree and Uttlesford, said: “The signing of this lease is fantastic news.

“Since the unexpected closure of Saffron Walden station last year, officers have continued to work within the local community investigating crimes, supporting victims, bringing criminals to justice and solving local problems.

“The Lodge will give officers a permanent base within the town, which will both reassure residents and enable greater and closer working with our partners at UDC.

“We are grateful to UDC to making these premises available.”

The announcement comes after the Reporter revealed last week the East Street police station – which closed suddenly after a chemical leak, forcing officers to re-locate to Dunmow – is subject to an Asset of Community Value (ACV) order.

The order gives community groups six months to get funds together to table a bid for the station, which the force values at £1.5million.

Howard Rolfe, leader of UDC, said: “We are delighted the lease has been signed and we look forward to welcoming police officers and staff into The Lodge in the near future.

“It is important the council, police and other partners continue to work closely together to protect and support our communities. This latest development will allow us to integrate our services even more which can only be of greater benefit to residents.”

Roger Hirst, police and crime commissioner for Essex, added: “This is excellent news for Saffron Walden and Uttlesford.

“I am pleased Essex Police will continue to have an operational policing base in the town, and that police will work increasingly closely with UDC’s community safety team.

“It is important Essex Police remains connected with the communities we serve, and these steps are a key part of keeping police visible in Saffron Walden and the district.”

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