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By Harriet Ernstsons Friday 08 February 2013 Updated: 08/02 16:55
THE CELLS at Redditch Police Station are set to close in a bid to save money, West Mercia Police announced today (Friday).
And that means those arrested in both Redditch and Bromsgrove would instead be taken to Kidderminster or Worcester.
It follows a review of custody provision across the force as part of an alliance with Warwickshire Police which identified there were too many cells across the two forces.
The announcement comes just weeks after our sister paper, the Redditch Standard, revealed the whole station could be sold off and police relocated elsewhere in the town.
Superintendent Kevin Purcell, North Worcestershire police commander, said Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary had also highlighed problems with the ten cells at the Grove Street station.
Although attempts had been made to solve the issues, a 'very significant' investment would have been needed to bring them up to Home Office standard in the future.
"The investment required in Redditch combined with the running costs and availability of more modern custody facilities at Kidderminster and Worcester meant that there was no logical reason for retaining the facilities at Redditch.
"Decommission of Redditch custody will make West Mercia’s overall custody estate safer, more fit for purpose and more efficient.
"Elsewhere in West Mercia and Warwickshire Police areas officers have to convey detainees similar distances from Redditch to either Kidderminster or Worcester and the force is equipped to do this safely.
"It should also be noted that at present North Worcestershire is the only policing area across both forces which has two separate custody facilities.
"While recognising that some people will have concerns about this decision, I am sure it is the right decision. I consider it is our people, not parts of a building or buildings, that protect our communities from harm.
"We are very proud of the policing service which we provide to the residents of Redditch, Kidderminster and Bromsgrove. I will ensure that decommissioning of the custody facility at Redditch will not affect that."
Anyone taken to Kidderminster or Worcester from the borough will still be bailed to appear before Redditch Magistrates.
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