New cells swing into place
ONE of the best known addresses in Ipswich has just taken delivery of some extra rooms for people staying the night.There is now more accommodation for suspected criminals and while it won't cost those staying there any money, there could well be a charge at the end of their stay!Ipswich police station yesterday took delivery of a new custody suite which came as a prefabricated building which was swung into position by a massive crane.
By Paul Geater
ONE of the best known addresses in Ipswich has just taken delivery of some extra rooms for people staying the night.
There is now more accommodation for suspected criminals and while it won't cost those staying there any money, there could well be a charge at the end of their stay!
Ipswich police station yesterday took delivery of a new custody suite which came as a prefabricated building which was swung into position by a massive crane.
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The new suite has eight rooms - six cells and two interview rooms - which arrived as four separate sections.
After they were swung into place work started immediately to build them into the police station itself and the new suite should be fully functional by mid-March.
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Officially it is a temporary structure - the long-term future of the Elm Street police station is under review as the force looks at restructuring the way it operates - but the extension will certainly be there until at least the end of 2009.
Suffolk police senior estates' officer Chris Rush said the new extension was part of a £1 million project to extend Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds police stations.
He said: “Each of the four units we are installing here today weighs about 15 tonnes. They have to be lifted over the four-storey police station and to do that we need a very large crane.
“At Bury the conditions were also difficult - the police station is not as high but the distance they had to be lifted was much further.”
The crane arrived at Ipswich police station at about 6am and was ready to lift the first of the building units into place by 10am.
All were in place by mid-afternoon.
Mr Rush had a few restless nights worrying about the weather in the run-up to yesterday's operation.
He said: “We need it to be reasonably still and with the high wind last week, I was getting a bit concerned. The forecast for today (Sunday) has been good for a few days now - but you can never really be sure until the day itself.
“We decided to go ahead on Friday, and I'm delighted that the weathermen have been so accurate - this is ideal.”
He stressed the new cells would not replace any existing custody accommodation - they were needed because the population of the area is growing.
Ultimately cells at the police station in the centre of the town may be replaced by a large new custody building which could be built on the outskirts of town near Ransomes Europark.
nDoes Ipswich need more police cells? Write to: Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org>