Police station custody suites to be axed in money-saving move

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Custody suites at two North Yorkshire police stations are to close in a move to cut costs, it has been announced.

Selby’s custody facility will shut on October 27 and suspects will be taken to York, while Skipton’s custody suite is due to close next spring with suspects taken to Harrogate for questioning.

North Yorkshire Police said yesterday suspects from the Craven area would be taken to a new team based in Harrogate and handed to custody staff there for processing, thereby freeing the Skipton officers to return to their duties.

The force will save £26,000 on running costs and £46,000 in other costs. It says, if Skipton had remained open, it would have needed renovating. The move has met with concerns from members of the local community, but North Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Julia Mulligan, said yesterday that she has approved the plan.

She said: “The fact is, North Yorkshire Police – like other public-funded organisations – faces significant financial challenges now and in the future. We have to face up to these challenges, and that means doing things in new ways.

“The changes aren’t comfortable, but they are necessary, if we want to keep the maximum resource focused on local community policing – which is what the people of North Yorkshire tell me they want me to do.”

Meanwhile, warnings have been made cuts to policing, including over 70 investigating officers, will lead to a “severely reduced” service for people in Hull, East Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire, a union is warning. The Humberside Police Staff Branch of Unison said there are seriously concerned as it continues to take the brunt of “savage cuts” to policing.

More than 300 police staff have already gone, with another 500 to follow by 2019, as the force tries to save £31m. As police officers cannot be made redundant or forced to retire, the union said the burden of cuts is falling on their members.