No decisions have been made on the long-term future of Caterham or Reigate Police Stations as proposals put forward “are not fit for purpose” and “cost-prohibitive”.
Front-desk services returned to Caterham, after a five-year absence, as an emergency measure following the discovery of dangerous crumbling concrete nine miles away and on the other side of the M25 at Reigate Police Station.
The problem was uncovered after Surrey Police began searching their estate for Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) in September as the national emergency spread.
RAAC concrete can collapse and crumble without notice. It meant the force had to shift staff and officers out of Reigate including moving front-desk counter services to Caterham, and close CCTV monitoring.
Three weeks after the discovery, there is still no timetable to return, nor any updates on whether the switch will be made permanent.
A spokesperson for Surrey Police said Caterham remained operational and had previously housed a front-counter service but closed in 2018 to save money as part of a wider review into funding.
It was deemed expendable, the force said, due to a “decrease in footfall of front counter services”.
They have yet to confirm whether the counter will stay in Caterham long term, move back to Reigate, find a new home completely, or shut.
They said: “It seemed sensible to reinstate it at Caterham as it was once there until a long-term solution is found for the eastern division headquarters. Adding: “The front counter at Caterham Police Station will remain open until further notice, and we will update local residents as soon as any longer-term decisions have been made. The priority has been to maintain policing services while ensuring the health and safety of our officers, staff and visiting public.”
As for Reigate, Surrey Police said they have explored a number of options for the continued use of either the whole or specific parts of the building, however, the proposals that have been put forward are not fit for purpose either for staff, or for victims to be able to report crime, and are also cost-prohibitive.
[Surrey Police’s counter service in Epsom is located during normal business hours only within the Town Hall, The Parade, Epsom. Reigate Police Station’s counter-service was open full-time, so from now out of hours personal attendances will have to go to Caterham or Staines or Guildford.]