Plans to close Cambridge's iconic police station could lead to more crime, campaigners claim

Plans to close Cambridge's iconic police station have been criticised by campaigners who say it will risk security in the city centre.

The county's Police and Crime Commissioner Jason Ablewhite claims the ageing Parkside police station in the heart of the city is no longer fit for purpose and should be replaced by a new facility on the outskirts where there would be less congestion.

The old building is valued at more than £35 million and costs around £4 million a year to run.

Parkside has been on the front line of policing in Cambridgeshire for 50 years. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The proposed move has led to some concerns that there would be a reduced police presence in the city centre.

"I understand the need to modernise, but the important thing for me and the people of Cambridge is that there is a city centre police presence and people know where they can go to," Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner said.

"The police have got to be there still at Parkside, but in a redeveloped facility."

However, officers say they're confident that they can still keep on top of crime in the city centre - even if they're based elsewhere.

"We don't need to be based in a place to have a presence there," Chief Insp Nick Skipworth from Cambridgeshire Police told ITV News Anglia.

"Things have changed over the last 30 years. It doesn't actually matter where we are based as long as we can access the area and police it properly."

A public consultation will be held before a decision is made, and if the plans are approved, building work could start in 2020.