Humberside Police are planning to build a new divisional headquarters in Hull, at an estimated cost of £26 million. The existing HQ in Queens Gardens is apparently no longer fit for service. The Taxpayers’ Alliance will be keeping on a close eye on the plans for the new HQ, for we all know major building projects involving public money are regularly completed over-budget, with our money wasted in a variety of ways.
The Hull Daily Mail reports today that the police authority intends to set aside £25,000 to commission a piece of public art to stand in the plaza leading up to the main entrance. I am not an aficionado of modern sculpture, so I don’t know what £25K buys you these days, however, I do know placing a sculpture outside the main entrance to a police station is not necessary expenditure. I was talking to two police officers last year and they told me how stretched they were on manpower, so instead of wasting money, why doesn’t Humberside Police use it to recruit an additional police officer? Instead of spending £26 million on a state-of-the-art HQ, why doesn’t it scale back its plans and use the money saved to assist in fighting crime? Perhaps I’m old fashioned, but isn’t fighting crime the main reason we have a police force?