THE Acting Chairman of the Northern Ireland Policing Board Brian Rea today (4th March 2011) confirmed that the planned new build project for a replacement PSNI station in Ballymoney will commence next month. The confirmation follows a meeting with local MLA Mervyn Storey, the PSNI District Commander and representatives from Ballymoney DPP.
Speaking after the meeting, Mr Rea said: “A new build at Ballymoney has been supported by the Board and included in successive PSNI Estate Strategies so I was very pleased to be able to confirm at today’s meeting that the necessary funding has now been secured for the new station project to proceed. Work is expected to commence in April 2011 with an estimated completion date of August 2012.
This is good news for police service delivery in the area as it is no secret that the current station is not fit for purpose. The Policing Board, as the owner of the PSNI estate, has a responsibility to ensure that the working environment and the location of PSNI Stations supports both operational policing and service delivery to the public.”
Mervyn Storey MLA commented: “This is good news for Ballymoney and for policing in the area. It is vital that the town retains its police station and given the condition of the current premises, this announcement is very welcome. To get to this stage is indeed a relief, there were times when I doubted if we would ever see this day, however with hard work and determination we have arrived at this historic milestone. I would thank all those who have made this announcement possible and look forward to the opening of Ballymoney’s new Police Station in 2012”.
Chief Superintendent Nigel Goddard said: “News of the replacement station comes as a welcome boost - it is not only an investment in policing but an investment in communities too. The Police Service are committed to ensuring that the people of Ballymoney receive the personal, professional and protective policing service they deserve. As part of that, it is our aim to work towards achieving a modern fit for purpose station facility, which meets the needs of the local people and the police personnel working there.
Policing is not just a building; it is about a growing confidence between police and the community and we continue to work with other agencies and voluntary organisations to deliver the best possible policing service to the people of Ballymoney.”
Cllr Malachy McCamphill, Ballymoney DPP Chairman continued: “Ballymoney District Policing Partnership have continually raised the issue of a new station for over 8 years at both public and private meetings. Members have been very concerned about the ‘third world conditions’ that local officers have to work in. We are delighted about the news and we turn our focus now to helping the PSNI build a station that is of benefit to the people of Ballymoney. We, for example, would like to see the station open full time, giving people a local option to contact PSNI rather than only relying on Call Handling Centres based out of the town.”
The capital funding for this new build (around £5.2 million) has been secured within the PSNI Budget for 2011/12 using a carry forward of funds from the 2010/11 financial year.
Cllr John Finlay added: “I welcome Brian Rea to Ballymoney. It is good to see a representative of the N.I. Policing Board out and about in Northern Ireland, especially as he came here with good news in announcing that Ballymoney is to get a new Police station.
“This new Police station will work to meet the needs of the local community when it comes to community policing. The presence of a Police station is important for any town or city for the protection of the people and enforcement of the law.
“This new station will offer a new beginning for policing in Ballymoney. The old Police station is in much need of renewal and this new build is most welcome.”