MP takes up closure with police chief

Greyfriars police station.
Greyfriars police station.

MP Richard Fuller is to take up the sudden closure of the cells at Greyfriars Police station with police chief Colette Paul.

The custody cells at Greyfriars police station in Bedford were closed following an unannounced inspection by HM Inspectorate of Prisons with the closure resulting in detainees being transferred to the custody suite at Dunstable 25 miles away.

The Bedford and Kempston MP said: “The modernisation of town centre police facilities is long overdue and the commitment of the Chief Constable to achieve this is welcome.

“Maintaining a police station in the town centre remains an important part of the public’s sense of order in Bedford and I will be discussing with the Chief Constable her plans.”

Assistant Chief Constable, Nigel Trippett, said: “Bedfordshire Police is taking proactive steps to improve custody facilities for detainees, staff and visitors. Bedfordshire Police has been planning to replace these facilities since their last inspection.”

However, Bedfordshire Police said there were no immediate plans to demolish the facilities.

“Planning permission has already been obtained for a new facility which will be built at Police Headquarters in Kempston within the next 18 to 24 months.

“The use of the Dunstable custody suite eliminates any potential issues around safety, provides more comfortable accommodation for staff, detainees and visitors.”

HM Inspectorate of Prisons and HM Inspectorate of Constabulary, who carried out the inspection of Bedfordshire Police’s custody cells between Monday, April 7 and Thursday, April 10, said: “Following the inspection, Bedfordshire police made an operational decision to close the custody suite at Greyfriars police station.”

Their spokesman added: “The inspection report will be published in due course.”