Police are to be withdrawn from a key nuclear site in Lancashire in a security shakeup, the Evening Post can reveal.
The Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC) has had armed officers stationed at the Springfields site in Salwick near Preston for decades.
But a recent review of security at the site, which manufactures nuclear fuel products for the UK’s nuclear power stations, has concluded there is no longer a need for police officers there.
The security of the site, which has been in operation since 1946 and employs 1,200 people, was put out to tender and has been won by a firm called Mitie Group plc.
The CNC has denied it is a cost cutting exercise.
Officers have not been routinely armed at the 0.8 square km site since 2007.
A spokesman for the CNC would not confirm how many officer’s jobs would be affected for “security reasons”, but said some of the roles would be sent to other sites.
He said: “It has been in the pipeline for a while. The site no longer needs our services so we are withdrawing over the next few months and officers will be redeployed. We can’t go into specific numbers at the site. At this moment we are not sure if officers will go elsewhere or be made redundant.”
Alan Beauchamp, of Westinghouse, which runs the site, said: “ We are regulated by the Civil Nuclear Security, part of the Office for Nuclear regulation.
“They carried out a security review at the site and decided the site no longer needs to employ the CNC as our security contractor. We take safety and security very seriously and are confident of the changes and the new arrangements we are putting in place at the site, which are all approved by our regulator.”
Martin Evans, of the Hand and Dagger pub, Salwick, said: “When I took on the pub a few years ago it was reassuring that there were patrols made around the area and the police presence was a good deterrent.”