Building work starts on new South Yorkshire Police custody suite

Chief Constable of South Yorkshire David Compton and Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings on the site of the new custody suite at Barnsley Police Station
Chief Constable of South Yorkshire David Compton and Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings on the site of the new custody suite at Barnsley Police Station
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Building work on a new police custody suite in South Yorkshire has started.

Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings and Chief Constable David Crompton started digging the foundations to mark the start of the construction phase of the cells at Churchfields, Barnsley.

There will be 20 new cells created in the custody suite.

Barnsley prisoners are being detained on a temporary basis at Ecclesfield police station in Sheffield until the new suite opens next autumn.

Dr Alan Billings, said: “This new facility at Barnsley is long overdue. Offenders were being brought in to a custody suite that fell well below modern standards.

“This purpose built facility will provide much better working conditions for officers and a more environmental friendly building that will be more economical to run.”

Chief Constable David Crompton said: “The changes taking place at Churchfield are part of a £19m project to update our custody areas not just in Barnsley, but also at the new building on Shepcote Lane that will serve the Sheffield and Rotherham areas.

“It has been widely publicised that South Yorkshire Police, like forces across the country, has to make significant savings but we also have a duty to provide detainees with fit-for-purpose accommodation.

“The building work is a key part of this process.”

It is anticipated that the project will deliver annual savings of £1.2 million, the majority of which will come from removing posts as staff retire from South Yorkshire Police.

The force has had £53 million stripped from its budget since 2010, with funding expected to fall by another £59 million over the next five years.