Saffron Walden police station closed following 'rat infestation'
PUBLISHED: 15:59 21 November 2014 | UPDATED: 15:59 21 November 2014
Saffron Walden police station was abandoned this week after a rat was seen at the town centre headquarters.
Officers were nowhere to be seen after the station mysteriously closed its doors on Monday, with no information given to the public on the reason for the closure.
After a number of calls to Essex Police to establish the cause, the Reporter can reveal that what was initially dubbed a “health hazard” is now being called a “rat infestation”.
Officers attached to the station have been reporting to Dunmow police station this week, and Essex Police said the public would experience no change in how the area is policed.
On Thursday, a temporary mobile van opened outside the station to deal with enquiries.
The Essex Police employee manning the van said he did not know how long the temporary station had been open for, nor was he able to give any further information about the details of the “infestation”.
He added that there was no telephone in the van to receive calls from the public.
Speaking on the steps of the hazard tape-covered entrance, a Rentokil employee, who did not wish to be named, said there were reports of one rat being seen, but that the pest control company had found no evidence yet of any actual infestation.
An Essex Police employee, who also wished to remain anonymous, laughed at the idea of an infestation. In response to the lack of information given by the press office, he said: “We don’t want to air our dirty laundry in public”.
A press statement issued by Essex Police read: “Saffron Walden Police station is currently closed for health and safety reasons. The station has a rat infestation. Essex Police is looking to resolve the problem and officers and police staff is working from nearby stations.”
District Commander, Chief Inspector Richard Melton, said: “We apologise for any inconvenience caused to the public and would urge them to report non urgent matters by calling 101 or use 999 in an emergency. The public will not notice any difference in how the area is policed.”
Essex Police has said it is hoped the station will be open again on Monday (November 24).