Police chiefs have defended a decision to spend £19million on a new super-custody suite in Sheffield despite the force needing to save £74.5 million by 2017.
South Yorkshire Police hopes the new custody and crime facility on Shepcote Lane, Tinsley, will save the force £1.2 million a year.
The new building will replace custody suites in Sheffield city centre, Ecclesfield, Moss Way and Rotherham.
It will also operate as a base for investigative officers and partner agencies.
Chief Constable David Crompton helped cut the first sod at the site today along with South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings.
Chf Con Crompton said: “Like every force across the country we have to make significant financial savings but at the same time we need a workforce properly equipped to tackle crime and protect the public.
“The £19million project to deliver new custody facilities for Sheffield, Rotherham and Barnsley is a significant part of this process.
“Replacing outdated custody suites in Rotherham and Sheffield with one purpose-built centre will enable us to save approximately £1.2million a year.
“This will be achieved through a reduction in staffing as custody sergeants and detention officers retire with other revenue savings and energy efficiencies contributing too.”
Dr Billings said: “With further government cuts to the police grant and the additional strain on resources, we are continually looking for innovative ways to police South Yorkshire.
“The new modern custody facilities will replace old out of date buildings that are currently inefficient.
“The new facilities will be more eco-friendly with updated technology and provide a better environment for all that use them.”
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