A HAMPSHIRE police station is closing next week after serving the local community for almost 70 years.

Police will vacate their offices at Southampton Road, Lymington, and transfer to a new base at the town hall in nearby Avenue Road.

Facilities will include a front counter that will open "when coronavirus restrictions allow".

The existing police station, opened in 1952, is said to be out-dated and no longer fit for purpose. The site is likely to be sold for housing.

New Forest Post:

Hampshire's Police and Crime Commissioner, Michael Lane, said: "Providing effective and efficient bases for the officers and staff that serve our communities has always been one of my priorities, and our service must respond to changing demands.

"This move sees the police even closer to the centre of Lymington, where they will continue to keep residents safer.”

Police Inspector Mike Minnock added: "This move provides our officers with an up-to-date environment allowing us to cope with the challenges of modern-day policing.

"Our officers will continue to deliver high-visibility patrols in Lymington and surrounding areas, while members of the public will be able to report any crime or anti-social behaviour to us as our front desk will be staffed full-time, Monday to Friday, when it opens.

"It will also allow for us to further embed our already positive relationship with our stakeholders such as the New Forest District Council."

The front counter at the existing police station has closed because of coronavirus restrictions.

New Forest Post:

A spokesperson for Mr Lane said the counter at the new facility would open "as soon as those restrictions allow". They added: "Today the vast majority of residents contacting the police do so via telephone, via online and other methods."

Lymington police station is the latest to close.

Hythe police station has already shut, with officers transferring to Hardley fire station. A developer has applied for planning permission to build flats on the site.