New police station opens in Devonport
By ExeCellent | Tuesday, October 30, 2012, 00:46
A NEW POLICE station has opened today (Tuesday 30 Oetober) in Devonport, six years after it was initially given the go-ahead. The £3.6m state-of-the-art building – one of the "'greenest' in the Force estate" – is being heralded as a "fantastic long-term investment in policing the Devonport area"…
Devonport's new police station. The £3.6m state-of-the-art building will house a 147-strong workforce and is being heralded as "a fantastic long-term investment in policing the Devonport area"
Officers from neighbourhood policing, response and local investigation will make up a 147-strong workforce at the new three-storey station, which opened today at the junction of Devonport's Fore Street and Chapel Street.
In 2006 the police authority signalled that the old Devonport police premises in Marlborough Street were "unsuitable". Originally a bank constructed in the mid-1950s, the old station was unable to cope with the number of officers, many being forced to work from temporary buildings housed in the car park.
"Marlborough Street wasn't fit for purpose," said Plymouth's local policing Chief Inspector, Ian Drummond-Smith, who will move out of Marlborough Street and into the new building. "It provided us with poor quality and disjointed accommodation.
After delays in identifying a suitable site, it wasn't until May 2011 that the sale and planning went through. Main contractor Midas started work last October, with a 52-week build programme.
Like much of Plymouth, Devonport suffered heavy bombing during the Second World War. The new building's concrete foundations had to be adjusted to take huge underground voids into account.
Fortunately, no bombs were found and despite the delay, Midas handed over the building on time and within both build and overall budget.
"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," says CI Ian Drummond-Smith. "This project offers a fantastic long-term investment in policing the Devonport area."
Described as one of the "'greenest' in the Force estate", the new station has a solar thermal/hot water system, underfloor heating in the ground floor locker room and a photovoltaic system for energy generation.
Devonport's new police station will be open to the public by appointment only. Although it doesn't have an enquiry office, the public will be able to speak to an officer by using a telephone at the front of the building.