A police station which has been closed to the public for five years is being put up for sale.

Tilbury Police Station was shut for general use in February 2016, but continued to be used by detectives for the past few years.

The Civic Square station is now being prepared to go on the market.

The current police estate in Essex costs in the region of £10million a year in running costs; the force’s buildings require around £30million of maintenance work to bring them up to standard.

Essex Police says this money can be better invested in recruiting officers and investing in technology.

Chief Inspector Mark Barber, district commander for Thurrock, said: “Thurrock has already seen the investment in officers and staff and specifically the creation of the Town Centre Teams and the Community Safety Engagement Officers who continue to work closely with their communities.

“But it's important to remember that police officers protect and serve communities, secure justice for victims and catch and lock up criminals - not buildings. Every day your officers are out in Tilbury working hard to keep you safe - the sale of a police building won't change that, you will continue to see your local officers out and about doing what they do best - protecting you.”

Roger Hirst, police and crime commissioner for Essex, added: “We need to invest in a modern police force where officers can spend more time out in their communities not in stations completing paperwork.

“By rationalising our estate and investing in technology we can give our officers the tools to log and register crimes while they are out and about. We can help them become more visible and deliver a better service to the public.”

The nearest alternative police station is in Grays which provides a front counter service from 9am to 5pm, seven days a week.