£18m base ‘marks milestone for police’

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THE outgoing chief constable of North Yorkshire Police says the force’s new £18m base marks a major milestone for the force.

Grahame Maxwell, who is understood to be retiring next week, yesterday officially cut the ribbon on the new state-of-the-art headquarters on the outskirts of Harrogate which will replace its former town centre site.

A smaller satellite station in the middle of the town is opening as part of the move.

Mr Maxwell told the Yorkshire Post that despite the squeeze on spending, the new building marked a future radical overhaul for North Yorkshire police sites in the coming years, including its headquarters at Grade II listed Newby Wiske, near Northallerton.

“It is a very exciting day and marks quite a milestone in the history of North Yorkshire Police,” he said.

“Even in an economic downturn one of the worst things you can do is not invest in your infrastructure. “I would hope this is the start of a real change in the way we deliver modern policing.”

The new station becomes operational on May 17 with the old station on North Park Road being decommissioned over the coming weeks.

It also now houses the official memorial garden for the force, where earlier yesterday, a private dedication service was held in memory of Pc David Haigh, a Harrogate officer who was murdered on duty by the notorious killer Barry Prudom on June 17, 1982. Prudom later committed suicide as a huge manhunt closed in on him.

The service was performed by the force chaplain, the Reverend Simon Rudkin, and attended by Pc Haigh’s family and senior officers.