New police station for Devonport

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By Plymouth Herald | Tuesday, October 30, 2012, 05:30

AFTER years of waiting, planning and hoping, Devonport has got a new police station, set in its very heart.

In front of officers, detectives, councillors, MPs, and representatives from a host of partner agencies, Devon and Cornwall Police Authority chairman Mike Bull unveiled a plaque to herald a new era for the west of the city.

The state-of-the-art three-storey £3.36m station on the corner of Chapel Street and Fore Street will now become the base for 147 officers – made up of neighbourhood, response and local investigation teams.

With its solar thermal/hot water system, photovoltaic system for energy generation and underfloor heating in the ground floor locker room, it is one of Devon and Cornwall Police's greenest buildings.

The go-ahead was given around six years ago after it was agreed the dingy Marlborough Street station – a former bank built in the 1950s – was not fit for purpose. It was described by Mr Bull as "quite the worst police station in the force area".

Up until recently officers were even forced to work out of freezing cold temporary buildings stacked up in the Marlborough Street car park, while Devonport's detectives were first based at the rented Prynn Court in Millfields and then at Charles Cross police station.

Acting Chief Insp Sally Hutchings, said she remembered petitioning then Plymouth commander Chief Supt Morris Watts and then Chair of the Police Authority David Money nearly eight years ago for a new building in the heart of the community.

Now the regeneration of Devonport is almost complete, she felt it was right the area also had its own dedicated police station.

She said: "Devonport's community needs a police station where we can bring everyone together.

"Over time, we've had to negotiate for the building, it's been reduced by half by the cuts and we've had lots of other challenges.

"The community deserves this. There's been a lot of regeneration in Devonport and we have to show our investment in the community too.

"It will be a better service and it makes better sense to have CID, response and neighbourhood officers all in one place. It also gives us room to invite in our partners like Neighbourhood Watch and local councillors."

The building has suffered additional delays after lead contamination was discovered in the ground, and huge underground voids, left behind from World War II bombing by the Luftwaffe, were found.

However, contractor Midas were able to hand over the building on time and on budget.

With interview and conference rooms, as well as a small canteen, the station is also home to a large plaque bearing the oath all officers take on joining the constabulary.

The plaque – requested by Plymouth's local policing Chief Insp Ian Drummond-Smith – will soon be joined by another stating police founder Sir Robert Peel's nine principles of policing.

Chief Insp Drummond-Smith said: "Marlborough Street just wasn't fit for purpose. The officers at Devonport have waited a long time for the new station, which will be in the heart of their policing community and offer a much better standard of accommodation."

      

Comments

       
  • Profile image for jay_guz

    Is it just me or is Annefreeman1 not overly happy about the new police station???? I'm no detective but I think she was hoping for some kind of station (not office block) that is open to the public anytime they want and not by appointment only!!!
    Bet the police can't wait for you to book an appointment to have your pennies worth, should kill half of their shift when they could be out keeping the streets safe.
    Think i'm trying to stress that what is the point keeping a desk manned 24 hrs a day when that police officer could be out doing proper work.
    I'm sure most people could manage to speak to the police some how at any given time??
    Phonecall? letter? e-mail? they are probably even on twitter and other such sites...

    By jay_guz at 21:48 on 03/11/12

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  • Profile image for Hoof_Hearted1

    Acting Chief Insp Sally Hutchings: "Devonport's community needs a police station where we can bring everyone together.


    Discuss.

    By Hoof_Hearted1 at 03:06 on 31/10/12

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  • Profile image for fazer58

    The 101 phone number is for non-emergency calls to the Police,999 for emergency with trained operators to filter out time-wasters or pass on genuine calls.Easy enough for most to remember so why would there be a need to tie up officers dealing with members of the public when they could be out on the streets or ready to respond to emergency calls? It's Devonport Police station and nowhere in Devonport is any more than a few minutes maximum from the location so where's the problem?
    Anyone who has had to wait in a Police station where the public can just walk in and had to wait around surrounded by by the mad,bad,drunk and insane will be quite glad to have a set appointment when they're dealt with exclusively in a less hostile atmosphere.

    By fazer58 at 01:20 on 31/10/12

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  • Profile image for Nihilo

    Strange and senseless decision. All that regeneration, lower crime levels, so does Plymouth's only High Street police station provide a positive message for the future? if it is just an office, anyway, why not build it off the beaten track?

    They couldn't manage to build a new school, although one is sorely needed

    By Nihilo at 22:24 on 30/10/12

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  • Profile image for Annefreeman1

    by Realist101Tuesday, October 30 2012, 5:56PM
    "AnneFreeman - Stop your whinging. The police have had budget cuts of 20%, you are lucky to be getting a police station at all! Personally I would rather see money spent on officers on the streets keeping us safe rather than an enquiry office that hardly anyone ever uses."

    Yep Realist, the budget cuts are awful and I totally agree with this. Cuts should never be made to the Police or our armed forces who protect us day in and day out. The money spent on this building would have put an awful lot of officers on the street.

    My whole point is this is NOT a police station. It's an office block and nothing more. I'm certainly not criticising the officers who are based in there, I think they do a blooming brilliant job with the budget cuts etc. But I (like you) am entitled to 'whinge' if I want to. I work, I pay my taxes. I'm a carer at home when I'm not working (totally unsupported), I vote, and I live and work in the area.

    And actually, perhaps this money should have been spent on elsewhere - by renting suitable accommodation that already existed in the area.

    By Annefreeman1 at 19:44 on 30/10/12

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