Joy Allen, County Durham and Darlington’s PCC, has spoken out to dismiss claims that she plans to close police stations, saying that they are ‘misleading’ at best.

Joy Allen said today: “I have seen recent scaremongering comments suggesting that several Police Stations, including Cockerton, are earmarked for closure.  I can categorically state that I have no plans to close the station and as the owner of these police assets it is me who makes these decisions.

“While I am well-aware that these comments are circulating to cause upset amongst our local communities, this mindless gossip is simply untrue and should not be believed.  I have been contacted by residents, local councillors and even some local police officers, wondering what is happening to Cockerton and other local police stations.

“Happily, I have been able to reassure them that these statements are misinformed, to put it politely, and very misleading.  Ultimately, this type of fake news causes unnecessary fear and anxiety in communities, so it’s very important that everyone knows that I have no plans to close police stations.  I never have had.  It’s equally important that they hear it directly from me.

“I can however confirm that I met with the Estates Team to discuss the maintenance of the stations a number of weeks ago in the face of the government’s £1m capital grant cut.  It is important that our ongoing programme of maintenance and upgrades continues and our discussions were positive.  I am fully committed to ensuring that our buildings are fit for purpose for both our workforce and the public who visit them.

“I find it very disappointing that people will make false claims like this, but hopefully this statement will allay fears that polices stations are under threat of closure.”