New Northamptonshire Police headquarters could be built on Wootton Hall site
The new Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner says a new headquarters could be built on Wootton Hall land still owned by the force.
Talking at his first Police and Crime panel meeting, Stephen Mold said he wanted the Northamptonshire Police to have a headquarters “in and around” Northampton.
Mr Mold’s comments are a complete departure from the views of his predecessor Adam Simmonds, who said he did not believe the force needed a headquarters as the senior leadership needed to be “more agile”.
Mr Simmonds said the new Northern Accommodation Hub and Police Investigation Centre in Kettering Business Park would also provide space for the majority of staff from Wootton Hall.
But Mr Mold said he wanted a police headquarters in Northampton and was even considering building on the land still owned by the force on Wootton Hall.
He said: “We should have a similar facility to the northern hub in and around Northampton.
“We could build a facility on the land we own on Wootton Hall.”
Mr Mold said he was also considering expanding Weston Favell Police Station or could redesignate the top floor of the Criminal Justice Centre in Brackmills as a headquarters.
Overall, the new crime commissioner said he agreed with the sale of the force HQ building, but felt the redeployment of staff could have been planned more thoroughly.
He said: “It was the right decision to sell land at Wootton Hall as the building is not fit for purpose. Would I have done it this way? Probably not. The timing has been a bit off.
“I feel we need to come up with a better strategy for the post sell-off period.”
Mr Mold revealed that he wanted force control room staff who answered the 101 non-emergency calls to stay in the county, but was more relaxed about 999 call handlers - who take far fewer Northamptonshire calls - being based in a regional hub.