The new custody cells under construction at Waterside PSNI Station
The completion of an £11 million upgrade at Waterside Police Station in Derry has been delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.
The upgrade at the station, situated at Richill Park off the Crescent Link road in the Lisnagelvin area, includes 21 custody cells, offices, briefing rooms, catering, changing, storage and ancillary services as well as 221 parking spaces.
The refurbishment also includes a fully automatic addressable fire alarm and detection, public address/bomb alert system, fully integrated security, CCTV, perimeter detection, security lighting, electronic access control and staff alarm systems.
As a result, nine custody suites at the PSNI's headquarters in the city on Strand Road will close on completion of the Waterside development.
The work follows a review by the PSNI of its facilities across the North which will also see the closure of cutody suites in Bangor and Armagh.
The PSNI said it had reviewed its custody suites because some were under-used and several needed to be updated to ensure they met health and safety requirements.
More than 27,000 people are held in police cells every year, many of whom suffer from addiction and mental health problems.
The PSNI say the aim is create a more effective and efficient custody service consisting of a fewer number of better-equipped suites, each of which will see the introduction of embedded healthcare and support services to help keep people safe. The PSNI estimate the closures will save around £1 million in maintenance costs.
It had been hoped to have the Waterside scheme completed later this year but no date has been put on a finish of the local work due to Covid-19.
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