PEOPLE arrested in Redditch will be placed in custody out of the town from September, after police announced plans to decommission Redditch’s custody cells where deficiencies have “consistently” been reported.
Redditch Police Station will remain open and continue as an operational base in the centre of the town.
People arrested in Redditch and Bromsgrove from September will be taken to custody facilities at Kidderminster or Worcester. But if charges are brought against them, they will still be bailed to appear before Redditch magistrates.
The decision to decommission the 10 cells at the Grove Street police station follows a review of custody provision across the force as part of the alliance with Warwickshire Police. That identified excess custody capacity across the two forces which could be reduced to generate cost savings.
North Worcestershire Police Commander, Supt Kevin Purcell, said that the HMIC (Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary) had consistently highlighted deficiencies with the Redditch custody facilities.
Although remedial work had been undertaken and would continue as an interim measure, due to their age, layout and construction it would have required a very significant investment to bring them up to Home Office standards in the future.
Supt Purcell said: “The investment required in Redditch combined with the running costs and availability of more modern custody facilities at Kidderminster and Worcester meant there was no logical reason for retaining the Redditch facilities.
“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 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.
“Discussions are under way with staff and external stakeholders on how we make the transition to the new custody model as straightforward as possible.”
“While recognising that some people will have concerns about this, I am sure it is the right decision. I consider it is our people, not parts of a building or buildings, that protect communities from harm.
“We are very proud of the policing service we provide to the residents of Redditch, Kidderminster and Bromsgrove. I will ensure that decommissioning of the Redditch custody facility will not affect that.”