New Llandudno police station opens - without cells

Reporter:

Allan George

Llandudno’s new police station - which does not have any cells - was opened last week without any fanfare.

The station in Oxford Road, was officially opened by North Wales Police chief constable Mark Polin and police and crime Commissioner Arfon Jones.

Chief Constable Mark Polin said: “The new station has already become the base for police officers covering the Llandudno area. It brings a number of benefits, it will provide a new and fresh work place as well as a suitable, professional location for those members of the community who may need to attend a Police Station.”

However the new station will only be open for the from 9am to 1pm and 3pm to 6pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, when, a police spokesman said: “it will provide an opportunity for members of the community to speak ‘face to face’ with a member of the force”.

At other times the public could press the buzzer outside or dial 101 or 999.

He added: “Since the turn of the 21st Century policing has seen the introduction of new technology including body-worn video, taser and the IT to deal with these systems – we have improved IT at the new station.

“With introduction of code G of PACE and the reforms to the Bail Act we now require voluntary attender suites at police stations that allow digital recording on camera of suspect interviews. The Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 act introduced special measures which give the need for video interview suites for vulnerable and intimidated witnesses. We had neither appropriate bespoke suspect interview suite nor a vulnerable person interview suite at the old station.”

The previous station had six cells or detention rooms. But the spokesman stated the new station had no cells, he said: “Prisoners go to designated police stations only and have done since 2003 a long time prior to the old station getting knocked down. Custody suites must be designated under the requirements of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act and must comply with the requirements set out by HMIP and HMIC which the old cells did not. Not all police stations have cells, there are other stations which have cells such as St Asaph. Prisoners are sent to the most appropriate place if they need to be any time in police custody”

North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones said: “Building this police station is part of my strategy to improve and modernise our facilities to deliver the best possible service to the people of North Wales.

“It is imperative the staff are able to work in a building of the highest quality. Ensuring our staff are happy will help them provide a better service.

“The most important aspect of this building is that it meets the needs of the local community and is somewhere were the public can come when they need the help of the police.

“Another important consideration as we look to operate within a reduced budget is that it will be considerably more economical to run than the old premises.”

Email:

allan.george@nwn.co.uk

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