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Force to return to former HQ amid record officer numbers

The Chief officer team at Kent Police will return to the force's former HQ in Maidstone alongside a slimmed-down Headquarters function.

Kent Police is returning to the Maidstone Headquarters it called home for 80 years in a bid to make best use of the force's estate amid a surge in officer numbers.

A joint statement by Chief Constable Tim Smith and PCC Matthew Scott confirmed that the Chief officer team and a slimmed-down HQ function will return to the historic Sutton Road site, which was vacated by the force following a decision made in May 2020.

The decision to leave was based on the potential revenue attainable from the sale of the site, and on the projected workforce numbers of the force. Officers and staff at the site have since been relocated across the county. 

As of this month, officer numbers in the force have hit a record high. This surge, created by both the Uplift programme and increases in the policing precept, has prompted a re-evaluation of how the force uses its buildings.

As a result, the decision has been made to return to Maidstone. The current HQ at North Kent police station will be handed over for other operational policing purposes, including the leasing of space for a commercial income. 

PCC Scott's office, already located at Sutton Road, will remain there under the plans.

The joint statement read: "This decision will allow us to maximise occupancy and space utilisation across the estate, moving police officers and staff closer to the local communities they serve.

"We are committed to ensuring the best value for money for the policing services provided in Kent and will continue to review the estate to ensure officers and staff are in the right locations, in buildings appropriate to the operational need, at the lowest costs possible."

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