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Police building mistakenly valued as worthless
An error by Hertfordshire Police accountants almost led to a £1.7 million police building in Garston being declared worthless.
The building, understood to be North Watford Police Station on North Orbital Road, closed its front counter services last year but still serves as a base for the area’s Safer Neighbourhood Team.
The mistake happened during the revaluation of land and buildings owned by Hertfordshire Police Authority for the 2011/12 statement of accounts.
It was spotted by a member of staff before the accounts were published and a subsequent correction to the balance sheet places the value of the building at £1.7 million.
The closure of front counter services at the police station was announced in February 2011 along with eight others as part of the "Project 2015" initiative to make £36 million of savings.
Studies identified North Watford as a station where usage had declined due to people using non-emergency contact numbers and social media to contact officers.
Prior to that, in 1999, response units were withdrawn from the station and moved to the town centre over health and safety concerns.
The report notes: "During the revaluation of land and buildings for 2011/12 a police property in Watford, Garston was written down to nil value in error.
"The value of the asset has been re-instated resulting in a re-statement in the 2011/12 balance sheet of £1,711,000."
Nobody from Hertfordshire Police Authority, which compiles the force’s accounts, could be reached for comment at the time of publication.