Better police cells planned for Yarmouth

IMPROVED policing facilities in Great Yarmouth have moved a step closer after a contract was signed for a new Police Investigation Centre (PIC) in the town.

IMPROVED policing facilities in Great Yarmouth have moved a step closer after a contract was signed for a new Police Investigation Centre (PIC) in the town.

The PIC is the first stage in the process and will provide a new more modern custody suite close to B&Q in Thamesfield Way to replace the outdated custody facilities at Yarmouth police station in Howard Street North.

Once this has been completed later this year, attention will then focus on replacing the main police station itself with a new, more modern building.

Chief Insp Roger Wiltshire, of Norfolk police, said the PIC would be used jointly by Norfolk and Suffolk police to accommodate prisoners from Yarmouth and Lowestoft for a period of up to 48 hours until they appear in court.


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He said: “Currently, we take arrested persons to Yarmouth police station and in Lowestoft they would take people to Lowestoft police station.

“The cell blocks would have been there for very many years. They are old and they don't come up to scratch and maintaining them has been very difficult.”

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He added the police were now required to provide better facilities for detainees and police staff, including exercise yards and more modern interview and forensic examination rooms. These will be provided at the new Yarmouth PIC, which will be bigger than the existing custody suite at the police station.

The Yarmouth suite is one of six being built around Norfolk and Suffolk following the signing of a contract between Norfolk Police Authority, Suffolk Police Authority and contractor Justice Support Services at the end of last week.

Another three are being built in Norfolk - at Wymondham, Aylsham and King's Lynn.

Chris Harding, chief executive of Norfolk Police Authority, welcomed the agreement, adding: “We think the PICs are a great idea. Our current facilities are out-of-date and in buildings which are out-of-date and can't be altered anymore to bring them up to standard.”

Peter Belson, project director for the procurement of the PICs, said: “This project is an exciting step forward for both constabularies and police authorities in our mission of delivering first class policing services.

The PICs will help us meet the requirements and needs of modern policing in Norfolk and Suffolk. There are many benefits to collaborative working such as making us more resilient and efficient, and also more cost effective, which of course particularly benefits the public, who are our priority.”

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