New custody suite for Suffolk

POLICE in Suffolk are hoping to develop a new custody suite on the outskirts of Ipswich, The Evening Star can reveal today.The base will be a centre where prisoners can be detained following arrest and prior to their court appearance or release.

POLICE in Suffolk are hoping to develop a new custody suite on the outskirts of Ipswich, The Evening Star can reveal today.

The base will be a centre where prisoners can be detained following arrest and prior to their court appearance or release.

The project forms part of a collaborative programme between forces in Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Norfolk ahead of the proposed amalgamation of the policing areas in 2008.

Nine custody suites are planned for the three counties and will be located near to county borders or in areas easily accessible via link roads.

Mike Nunn, spokesman for Suffolk police, said: “We hope to create the centres across East Anglia to meet certain future requirements including facilities across county borders, leading to significant savings.”

A planning application has been submitted to Ipswich Borough Council to build the base between the A14 and the railway line at Nacton Road.

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It is will be built by Lancashire-based company Maro developments, as part of a private finance initiative.

Suffolk police could not disclose how much would be spent on the development.

It is also not yet known how many people will be employed at the base or how many cells will be provided.

A decision is expected to be made on whether to grant planning permission to the scheme on May 31 and further details should be released shortly.

The scheme, to work alongside Norfolk and Cambridgeshire, was decided prior to the Home Secretary's recommendations that the three forces amalgamate.

Suffolk and Cambridgeshire have rejected the bid over concerns about the funding and logistics of the scheme.

But Norfolk has given the project backing and could host the headquarters for the new superforce.

N Do you support the development of the custody suite? Write to: Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail: eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.