Police Housing and Police Stations

From : The Story of Hertfordshire Police

Neil Osborn

After the war, housing for Police Officers was a problem of primary importance.

By the end of 1951, 137 houses had been completed and occupied and a further fifty-one were under construction.

The annual report of that year (the second year that such a report had been made) added ominously that “for economy reasons it was decided to reduce the size of offices at outstations and discontinue building garages there for the present, leaving room for them to be built at some future date”.

“Economies” have been the curse of Police building projects throughout the post-war period.

Cuts, although inevitable at the time, usually turn out to be false economies in the traditional manner of ‘spoiling the ship for a ha’p’orth of tar’.

As a result of restrictions, all the stations built since the war (there had been four divisional stations alone, at St Albans, Hemel Hempstead, Stevenage and Welwyn Garden City, up to 1965) are likely to need extensions or rebuilding where extension are not possible.

For example, for reasons of economy it was decided to build the new Headquarters garage at the front of the Stanborough site rather than at the back, as originally planned.

This created immense difficulties when the other parts of the Headquarters were erected, and will continue to do so.

It should not be imagined that this is a new problem.

The old Headquarters at Hatfield was built in in 1833 and by 1895 Chief Constable Daniell was begging the Standing Joint Committee to sanction “ urgently needed “ extensions and alterations to the value of £1,000.

In the future it seems that this aspect of building may be taken into more sympathetic consideration.

This page was added on 19/07/2016.

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