Urbenville police station closes

WHILE it may not be everyone's cup of tea, Northern Rivers residents will soon be able to buy their own former police station to live in.

Richmond Local Area Command Inspector Susie Johnson said the NSW Government will sell Urbenville police station after it was assessed as needing massive renovations.

"The police station and the residence at Urbenville would cost $1 million to get back to the level that it needs to be according to Work Health and Safety standards," she said.

"The public purse strings can not afford that; it's not cost effective."

This means Urbenville will lose its only police officer.

Insp Johnson said the decision to close Urbenville police station was made following public consultation and meetings with Tenterfield Council and Member for Lismore Thomas George.

"We have moved the officer's position from Urbenville to Woodenbong because they are only 12km apart," she said. "The crime statistics support that move."

Insp Johnson said Woodenbong will have two police officers and soon Bonalbo will have two officers.

They will share the coverage of Urbenville.

"We are fast tracking to get two officers at Bonalbo," she said.

Policing resources used at Urbenville will be redispersed where needed.

Insp Johnson dismissed rumours that Alstonville police station had also been slated for closure.

She said officers still worked from the station and, because Alstonville was equidistant from the 24-hour police stations at Lismore and Ballina, officers from those stations could respond to any emergencies.

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