Police hope to expand into empty court

IPSWICH police are looking to expand into the town's redundant crown court building, The Evening Star can reveal today.The force is currently in discussion with Her Majesty's courts service estates department and is looking to lease the Civic Drive building for the next three years.

IPSWICH police are looking to expand into the town's redundant crown court building, The Evening Star can reveal today.

The force is currently in discussion with Her Majesty's courts service estates department and is looking to lease the Civic Drive building for the next three years.

Alastair McWhirter, Suffolk's Chief Constable, said: “Suffolk Constabulary constantly reviews its estate to ensure its premises are in the correct location to provide people with the best possible policing service.

“In the case of Ipswich police station, the Constabulary has looked at a number of options for expansion.

“One of the options, which is being explored is to expand our operations into the old crown court, which is adjacent to the police station and we are currently in negotiations with the Court Services to lease the building.”

The former court building has been empty since it was closed in May 2004 but is connected to Ipswich police station via cells underneath the buildings.

Most Read

From April 1 all of Suffolk's new constables will be trained in the county and it is thought the crown court building could be their home.

The planned expansion of the current police station is further evidence that Ipswich police are unlikely to move their base to the Ipswich Village area.

Previous plans to relocate to Constantine Road were scrapped due to a potential flood risk and the future of the Constabulary remains uncertain as forces nationwide face possible mergers.

Mark Veale, the court services' deputy regional estates manager for the south east of England, said: “We are still in discussion with police and are looking to lease it to them for a fairly short period, I think about three years.

“It's only the police who have expressed an interest at the moment.

“We have been talking to them over the last couple of months and it will take a while but it is definitely an option.

“I think the police would like to get in there as soon as they can.”

N Weblink: www.suffolk.police.uk.

N Do you think the expansion is a good idea? Write to: Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to: eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter