End of town’s police cells means 14-mile trip for suspects

SUSPECTS arrested in the Selby area will be taken to police cells in York from today after the town’s custody facility was closed.

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Selby police station’s custody area is being closed along with the facility in Skipton, which will shut in spring next year, as part of an “operational review” by North Yorkshire Police.

From today arresting officers in Selby will take suspects 14 miles away to York and hand them to custody staff for processing so they can return immediately to local policing duties.

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Bosses say the old system saw officers staying at the police station dealing with administration for hours after making an arrest.

Assistant chief constable Paul Kennedy said closing Selby’s 24-hour custody facility made “good operational sense”.

He said: “On average, Selby custody dealt with just one person a day last year, as the vast majority of arrested people - 86 per cent - are already taken to the custody facility at York. So whilst the closure of custody may sound dramatic, in fact there will be very little actual change to the way we carry out policing.

The important thing to keep in mind is that we are as committed as ever to keeping a strong front-line service on the ground in Selby.”

As part of the move, the force is creating a new Neighbourhood Sergeant role based at Eggborough who will be focusing on tackling rural and cross-border crime.

The custody facility at Skipton police station dealt with 648 arrested people last year, but police say the number dealt with has dropped year-on-year.

When it closes next spring, arresting officers from the Craven area will take suspects to the new Investigation Hub in Harrogate. The hub combines police officers, staff and specialist support into what police say will be a ‘start to finish’ investigation team.

North Yorkshire Police has had to cut its budget by £16 million a year between 2011 and 2015 due to funding cuts.