New custody centre ‘will save more than £1 million a year’

Building work has started on a new custody and crime centre serving the Sheffield and Rotherham areas that South Yorkshire Police says will save it £1.2m a year.

An artist's impression of the new custody centre

The £19m facility on Shepcote Lane near Meadowhall will include a 50 cell custody suite replacing existing suites in Ecclesfield, Moss Way, Sheffield city centre and Rotherham.

It will also house services such as health and social care, working in the same building as police investigators, in order to tackle issues relating to the crime itself.

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South Yorkshire Police were given planning permission for the centre in November and contractors Willmott Dixon moved onto the site in January. It is expected the centre will be ready for use in spring 2016.

Chief Constable David Crompton said: “Replacing outdated custody suites in Rotherham and Sheffield with one purpose-built centre will enable us to save approximately £1.2m a year.

“This will be achieved through a reduction in staffing as custody sergeants and detention officers retire with other revenue savings and energy efficiencies contributing too.”

Meanwhile, details of a new centre to support victims of crime in North Yorkshire have been unveiled by the county’s police and crime commissioner.

Julia Mulligan says victims of crime in her county will now be initially dealt with by staff at a centre in York rather than the Victim Assessment and Referral Centre in Wakefield used by Yorkshire’s three other forces.

A new service based at Athena House in York called ‘Supporting Victims in North Yorkshire’ will go live on April 1 and will aim to offer victims of crime a single point of contact for accessing services and support.

Mrs Mulligan says this will mean “simpler, faster and easier access to support for more victims via the telephone or online through a new website”.

The unit will be staffed by Victim Support as part of a partnership with North Yorkshire Police and specialist providers of support services.

According to the PCC, Victim Support will provide trained volunteers in the community around the county as part of the newly configured service, in addition to those working in the unit itself.