WISBECH: Only the cells moving because of Home Office guidelines, NOT police station

PUBLISHED: 12:28 07 May 2009 | UPDATED: 09:02 02 June 2010

stephen Barclay, petition over college

stephen Barclay, petition over college

I AM writing to clarify the facts surrounding the closure of cells at Wisbech Police Station. I am doing so in response to inaccurate and one-sided articles about the issue, which have tended to rely on hearsay rather than facts. Cambridge Police Authorit

I AM writing to clarify the facts surrounding the closure of cells at Wisbech Police Station. I am doing so in response to inaccurate and one-sided articles about the issue, which have tended to rely on hearsay rather than facts.

Cambridge Police Authority has known for some time that the cells at Wisbech have become unsuitable for police use.

A number of years ago, the then Chief Constable of Cambridgeshire, Tom Lloyd, wrote to all our MPs enclosing a Three Counties collaboration project annual report which laid out our intentions for custody provision, our requirements and our reasons for needing a solution. This has therefore been known about since 2004.

All articles in the Wisbech Standard refer to a 'Police Station' in King's Lynn, giving the false impression that Wisbech Police Station will close and move to a new police station in King's Lynn. This is simply not the case.

Wisbech Police Station will remain open for the foreseeable future - it has never been our intention to close it, merely to move the cells which have become unfit for police use.

The reason the cells are inadequate is that they do not adhere to forthcoming Home Office guidelines as they present a significant health and safety risk. The steep stairs leading down to the cells pose a risk to our officers and detainees.

That we have not had an accident before is no sufficient reason to be complacent about the potential risk to our officers and detainees in the future - these are people to whom we have a duty of care and are legally bound to protect and treat fairly.

KEITH WALTERS

Chairman

Cambridgeshire Police Authority

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STEVE Barclay (second left), the prospective Parliamentary Conservative candidate for North East Cambs, hands over a petition to Cambs Police Authority to protect policing in Wisbech. He was accompanied by Councillor Kit Owen, left, and they handed the petition at Wisbech Police Station to Benjamin Damazer, JP and representative of the Cambridgeshire Police Authority. 3911SM59

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