Aycliffe residents have expressed mixed feelings towards news that their local police force is to be "temporarily" located to an industrial estate venue after months of searching for new premises.

The relocation of Newton Aycliffe's police force has caused a mixed reaction from residents who believe the move is simply a "sticking plaster" and still seek a new station.

PCC Joy Allen earlier this week announced the force will be relocating to GLOW in mid-February, a function venue located at Aycliffe Business Park albeit on a "temporary" basis.

The announcement came seven months after residents first made their voices heard to PCC Allen in July 2023 following concern about the force's removal from shared premises at the local fire station on Central Avenue after the ten-year lease ended.

Richard Day, from Newton Aycliffe, served in Durham Constabulary as a PC until he retired in 2021, five of which was served in the Community Fire Station

He previously stated the relocation and everything with it evidences a "crisis in policing". Now, months later, he believes the relocation is a step forward, but there is still more to be done.

"This move is better than nothing - but it's just not good enough at the end of the day. The location of it - it's just out of the way and I do believe it's a bit of a token gesture," he said. 

"We know the way the public has felt about losing the police station back in 2013, and as we know, when something is taken away it's unlikely that you'll get it back."

The Northern Echo: Former PC Richard Day on his last day in the force, 2021.Former PC Richard Day on his last day in the force, 2021. (Image: RICHARD DAY)

Richard added: "Someone should be held accountable for all of this. It was common knowledge that the lease was running out last year and nothing was done about it.

"The problem we have in Aycliffe is the anti-social behaviour. It's getting worse.

"The police need to be more visible... the fact they have picked the GLOW centre is simply a sticking plaster that isn't going to stay on.

"The officers in Newton Aycliffe do amazing work and it's them who have been let down by all this."

Local politicians have also aired their concerns about the temporary move, stating that they hope a permanent home will be found in the near future.

Durham County Councillor Neville Jones said: "I hope this is an intermediary measure that will act as a stepping stone.

"This is only temporary, and the GLOW centre have confirmed this but I hope it does not act as a sticking plaster. I am happy with it as a temporary measure."

Great Aycliffe Town councillor Joanne Jones added her thanks to both Mike Welsh and Sarah Honeyman for their work in finding a new premises for the force.

Cllr Arun Chandran, Chairman of Great Aycliffe Town Council's Policy and Resources Committee, added that "nobody" seems to be pleased at the relocation.

He said: "Nobody is happy with it. We all want a police station in the town centre which will accommodate neighbourhood and response unit policing.

"If it is just transitory, then we can live with it purely as a temporary measure for now but successive PCCs have let the people of this town down very badly with broken promises.

"Likewise, the government since 2010 have effectively destroyed policing with reduced police numbers and lack of finance for a new police station."

Annoucing the news, PCC Allen said earlier this week: "The scheduled move into GLOW is temporary and will ensure both teams remain in the confines of Aycliffe to be able to respond urgently and effectively when needed by the public.


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"In the meantime, business will continue as usual, with members of the Neighbourhood Policing Team in Aycliffe Fire Station on Central Avenue where officers have office space, an interview room and a front counter.

"As previously stated, I am absolutely committed to maintaining a strong policing footprint in Newton Aycliffe.

"I hope this announcement will reassure residents we are not leaving the area and continue to work hard to protect the strong and accessible policing they deserve.”