Police can’t use local authority office

CLOSING: Onchan's police station. PHOTO: Mike Proudfoot MP070304 (17).

CLOSING: Onchan's police station. PHOTO: Mike Proudfoot MP070304 (17).

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ONCHAN Commissioners have refused to allow police to use a room in their offices once their station closes.

Police had argued their case with the board after Laxey and Braddan commissioners agreed to allow the force in their area to use a room in their premises free of charge.

In early March, Chief Constable Mike Langdon said the Braddan and Onchan stations were earmarked for closure and six police officer posts would be lost as the Isle of Man Constabulary wrestles with a £600,000 cut in its budget. At their meeting on April 2, the commissioners heard a report from chief executive Malcolm Hulme, who had met representatives of Onchan police about the issue.

Officers argued it would be better to be located in the district they served, particularly at times like TT and Manx Grand Prix. Using an office at the back of the commissioners’ office would solve this problem and police could set up quickly if permission was given. It would act as a base, said the police, and would not be for callers or interviewing.

Derek Crellin pointed out a lift needed to be installed in the building and this would mean using the photocopier room, the equipment from which would move into the back room.

Robin Turton was concerned about the loss of car parking space and that police would have semi-open access to the major part of the building.

John Quaye said having a police office in Willaston would not be detrimental ‘if they thought they could provide an appropriate service’. He said Onchan was nearer to police headquarters in Glencrutchery Road than a lot of places in Douglas.

It was proposed by Mr Turton, seconded by Mr Quaye, and resolved that no facilities be made available to police at the moment.

Mr Quaye, Mr Turton, Terence Black and Mr Crellin voted in favour of the resolution, with Ernest Thorn and June Kelly voting against.

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