Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Policeman's Lot Is a Happy One at New HQ

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Policeman's Lot Is a Happy One at New HQ

Article excerpt

Byline: Sophie Doughty Crime Reporter sophie.doughty@ncjmedia.co.uk

AMULTIMILLION pound police station has opened its doors.

Tyneside's new city-centre base opened to the public after years of planning.

The Newcastle City Centre Police Station, on Forth Banks, will become the operational base for 600 Northumbria Police officers and staff working in Newcastle and Gateshead, and is the result of three years of building and a PS36m investment.

It will now house 24/7 response officers, major crime detectives, and a modern 50-cell custody suite where detainees from across the area will be held and processed.

However, the state-of-the art facility was opened amid concerns about the closure of cells at Gateshead Police Station.

And the town's MP Ian Mearns told The Journal that while he was impressed by the new building, he was still worried about how the new policing structure would work in practice.

The police station, built on the site of The Goods Warehouse and Kings House, near Central Station, was offi-cially opened by Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird and Chief Constable Sue Sim. Mrs Baird said the new building would help forge closer links between the police and public, while Ms Sim promised that officers would not be spending too much time in it.

The Chief Constable said: "We have great premises and a state of the art custody facility here. But rest assured they won't be enjoying it - they will be out on the streets doing the policing we need them to do.

"We have a station here that will be a credit to our community. That's the most important thing. This will be a fantastic central base for us to police the communities of Gateshead and Newcastle."

The Newcastle City Centre Police Station opens as Northumbria Police undergoes a major restructure to cope with huge budget cuts.

The rationalisation will see 200 senior officer and 230 civilian staff posts slashed from the payroll, along with the closure of 12 police buildings across Tyne and Wear and Northumberland. …

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