- Coleford Police Station renamed Forest of Dean Police Station
- PCC keeps long standing promise to develop the site as a hub for Police and criminal justice services
- Community room for use by members of the public and to build stronger relationship with police
- Civic leaders give the facility their seal of approval
The long term plan to make Coleford the main centre for the Police and other criminal justice services in the Forest of Dean was confirmed at a landmark ceremony on Saturday.
The new Forest of Dean Police Station was ‘officially’ opened by the High Sheriff of Gloucestershire Countess Bathurst, in front of representatives from the Forest of Dean District Council, Jane Horne the chair of the District Council, senior police officers and members of the public.
Also in attendance were the Mayor of Cinderford, Max Colburn, the Mayor of Lydney, Bob Berriman, and Paul Kay, Mayor of Coleford.
Countess Bathurst said: “This [retaining Coleford as a police hub] was a promise Martin Surl made even before he was elected and I congratulate him on keeping that commitment. I love the Forest of Dean, it’s one of Gloucestershire’s less publicised jewels, and it’s nice to see investment coming in rather than something else being taken away”
The former magistrates’ court building, which shares the site, and was bought by Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Martin Surl last December following its closure in 2011, will also be home to the Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC), National Probation Service and provide a space for use by the community.
Mr. Surl said: “I am delighted this day has come at last. To be honest, it’s been harder than I thought because there was quite a lot of opposition to the idea but it was one of the first promises I made and I was determined to see it through.
“The council made a very generous offer to share their offices but I have always felt it important for the police to have security of tenure and maintain their own profile within the Forest.
“It is important for law enforcement in the Forest that the area retains its own identity and I believe that developing Coleford as a hub for the Police and other criminal justice services is crucial to that.
“Being able to save a building the police already owned, spruce it up and make better use of it, also represents excellent value for money”.
“This is a really good location we can develop, which is reflected in its new name”.
Deputy Chief Constable Rod Hansen said: “This is a building officers and staff who work here and the public who use it can be proud of. It is important that the police remain at the heart of the community and the new Forest of Dean Police Station sends out that message”.