Cells at Plymouth's Charles Cross Police Station are to be revamped
THE cells at one of the city's busiest police stations will temporarily close on Thursday to allow for a £650,000 revamp.
Devon and Cornwall Police have announced that the custody suite at Charles Cross will close for approximately 12 weeks while a significant refurbishment is carried out.
The local force said custody provision for the city will continue to be provided at Crownhill police station, which has 16 cells, compared to 42 cells at Charles Cross police station.
But a spokesperson for the force said that while the number of cells at both police stations varied, there would be no loss in the number of cells that hold high risk prisoners and, if needed, low risk prisoners could be put in cells further afield.
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The spokesperson said: "The custody centre at Charles Cross is invariably never full, it is never overflowing. But if the cells are full then prisoners will be taken to other custody centres in Launceston and Torquay. There is no loss in the capacity for high risk prisoners, with Charles Cross having 15 high risk cells, as does Crownhill.
"Throughout the force if a custody centre is full the prisoners will be transferred elsewhere. This is not unusual practise."
In preparation for the refurbishment Crownhill police station's custody facilities have been modernised, Devon and Cornwall Police said.
Superintendent Dave Sumner, head of custody, said: "The Police Authority authorised the refurbishment of Charles Cross custody facilities as part of the force's responsibilities to provide safe detention as set out in guidance from the Home Office. This custody centre at Charles Cross is one of the busiest in the country and we must have modern facilities that are safe and take account of all recent learning across the country. This is so we continue to improve standards and ensure when people are detained they are in a safe environment."
The refurbishment is part of the force's planned estates development programme.
To date, recent investments in Plymouth have included the newly opened Devonport police station and an extensive refurbishment of Beacon Park police station.