Hastings custody centre is re-opening, fully modernised and fit for the future after an investment of £1.6m.
The centre becomes operational again on Monday having undergone significant refurbishment since it was closed in October 2017.
The improvements that bring it up to Home Office standards, include a new air conditioning system and state-of-the-art CCTV as well as essential works to meet fire regulations.
Assistant Chief Constable Julia Chapman, said: “By modernising Hastings custody centre we are making the best use of our resources to provide a better, more efficient service.
“The re-opening of the centre will be welcomed by officers, as well as local residents and legal professionals.
“Introducing new approaches, optimising working practices and strengthening how we work with partners ensures that we keep pace with and meet the significant changing demands of our service.”
Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said: “With my responsibility for the police estate, I’ve followed the refurbishment works closely and my Independent Custody Visiting Scheme Manager has been instrumental in ensuring that the centre now meets exacting Home Office standards. I’m delighted that after an extensive programme of work to improve safety for staff and detainees alike, Hastings custody centre will now be re-opening.”
Earlier today the custody centre was officially re-opened by Ms Bourne and Hastings and Rother district commander Chief Inspector Sarah Godley. Among invited guest included local council leaders, representatives of the other emergency services and some of those who have been involved in the actual work of bringing the custody centre up to date.
The new custody centre meets the latest stringent standards imposed by the Home Office. There is a CCTV system that sends what it records, for storage, to force HQ in Lewes. There are new medical facilities which will mean that officers in Hastings can call on specialist help to meet what Chief Inspector Godley described as “ever more complex needs” of those being detained.
Ms Bourne stressed that at the point when people come in to the custody centre they are “not guilty of anything,” and have the right to expect a decent environment.
It’s 20 years since the Hastings custody centre was last upgraded and that Ms Godley told those present, was just at the point when she started her police career.
Hear the full interview with Katy Bourne and Sarah Godley…