DCSIMG

£34m Leeds police station is an arresting sight

Divisional Commander Chief Supt Paul Money outside the new headquarters. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Divisional Commander Chief Supt Paul Money outside the new headquarters. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

  • by Sam Casey
 

A new £34 million police station that will become the nerve centre of operations in Leeds has opened to the public.

The facility at Elland Road – opposite Leeds United’s ground – will eventually be home to more than 1,100 staff.

It will house detectives from CID, neighbourhood police, the district command centre and officers responding to 999 calls.

A new custody suite contains 40 cells which have been specially designed to stop prisoner suicides.

There are even lockable boxes outside each cell for prisoners’ smelly shoes, with specially-made ducts to extract the odour.

“There’s something about the quality of this building which enhances the local community,” Chief Superintendent Paul Money said.

“It will enable us to police the city more efficiently and effectively.”

The police station, built under the private finance initiative, will replace those at Holbeck, which closes to the public on April 17, and Millgarth, which will shut in August.

Both buildings are being sold off.

West Yorkshire Police will initially lease the Elland Road site from its contractors Interserve, but will become its official owners after about 25 years.

The building is one of three major PFI projects to build state-of-the-art facilities in West Yorkshire. The others are in Wakefield and Normanton.

Mr Money, who is commander of Leeds division, added: “Some of the buildings we had were not fit for purpose. We were outgrowing Holbeck and we didn’t need all the space at Millgarth.

“We have corralled all the command and control resources and the administration in one building.

“What that’s allowed us to do is that we have just our operational staff out in the communities and reduce our running costs.

“The vision is to ensure those officers are deployed in the communities they serve.”

West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson said: “The opening of the purpose built headquarters for Leeds is another big step in the direction of closer integrated working with partners and ensuring that modern and efficient facilities will help to lower our overall costs by replacing out of date buildings.”

 

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