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Work under way on new police centres

PUBLISHED: 10:31 05 August 2010 | UPDATED: 11:55 16 September 2010

Work is under way on six new investigation centres, including one at Yarmouth, which will replace almost 200 cells in police stations across East Anglia.

Work is under way on six new investigation centres, including one at Yarmouth, which will replace almost 200 cells in police stations across East Anglia.

Built as part of an £87.5m Private Finance Initiative (PFI) deal, the custody suites will become operational next year in King's Lynn, Wymondham, Aylsham, Great Yarmouth, Bury St Edmunds and Martlesham.

David Kean, assistant project manager with Norfolk police, said: “The project will provide a new police investigation centre and replacement custody facilities for the cell facilities at King's Lynn, for Norfolk Constabulary, and at Wisbech for the Cambridgeshire Constabulary.

“In terms of the progress of the work, it's about a third of the way through the construction programme.”

Structural steelwork is now complete on the two-storey building, which will be staffed by police staff when it becomes operational next year.

It is taking shape close to the entrance to the Palm Paper factory, the Norfolk Arena and King's Lynn power station.

There are 24 cells at the Lynn building, while those elsewhere across Norfolk and Suffolk will have up to 30.

Once it opens, offenders arrested across West Norfolk and the Fens will be taken to the custody centre instead of a police station to be interviewed and dealt with.

Senior officers admit facilities at many police stations are outdated and uncomfortable for prisoners, police officers and visitors.

The new centres are expected to have an operational life of 30 years, while officers staffing them will have access to the latest technical and forensic resources.

Norfolk police say this will enable investigating officers to provide better support and service to victims and witnesses.

The force hopes more effective investigations will help to reduce both crime and the fear of crime.

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