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Police to build 50 cells in Quedgeley for suspected criminals

By The Citizen  |  Posted: November 08, 2012

Police HQ at Waterwells

Police HQ at Waterwells

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SUSPECTED criminals are to be housed in a new custody suite in Quedgeley.

Plans to build 50 cells in Waterwells Drive next to Gloucestershire Constabulary's headquarters were given the nod on Tuesday night.

Concerns had been raised about whether potential offenders would be left to wander through the area upon their release.

Councillor Andrew Lewis (C, Quedgeley Severn Vale) said: "I like the building as it is modern and functional.

"My only concern being a Quedgeley resident is when these people are let out, where are they going to go? We could end up with 50 people coming through Quedgeley."

A council officer told him the police had said they would carry out a risk assessment before releasing anyone and in some cases they would be given a lift home or picked up by family and friends. She said some would use public transport and taxis.

The suite will house people arrested across the county while police question them and decide whether to charge or release them.

Once it is built, the existing custody suite at Bearlands will be closed.

Councillor Lise Noakes (C, Barnwood) said the facility was much needed as the existing custody suite in Gloucester city centre was out-dated and had been laughed at by visitors.

The site where the custody suite will be built is currently vacant.

No objections to the plans were received from the public or relevant agencies.

While most of the committee commended the design of the building, Councillor Mark Hobbs (L, Moreland) was keen to see the grey concrete structure treated in some way to make it more colourful.

He said: "I disagree with you.

"We have always strived for good quality buildings on this estate.

"None of the other buildings are grey.

"We have got a lot of people walking past this facility and I think we should be making it more aesthetically pleasing and I think we should ask for it to be changed."

Other councillors did not agree with his concerns and granted permission for the proposals as they were.

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  • bonzaharris1  |  November 08 2012, 6:46PM

    Councillor Andrew Lewis's only concern being a Quedgeley resident is when these people are let out, where are they going to go? We could end up with 50 people coming through Quedgeley. Anywhere so long as its not Quedegley, where he lives eh. Realistically, these cells are unlikely to be full to brim on a daily basis. But if they are, I am sure they will sober up the drunks before they release them, and hang onto the axe murderers. I would also imagine, they are not going to be released en masse. But rather when the police have finished questioning them, which would be at various time of the day or night, and then I would think they would go home. Perhaps then a nice policeman could ferry them safely home !!

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  • spindles12  |  November 08 2012, 4:39PM

    You only have to look back to around July 2010 to see that this PFI scheme was supposedly cancelled because it was too expensive and that it was better to concentrate on people rather than buildings. It appears they've managed to find the money from somewhere to build what can only be described as something that is a bit more than a shed if the description that I found in the minutes of Quedgeley Parish Council dated 21st June 2010 are anything to go by. QUOTE:Project manager Mr Bradley introduced Mr Coe representing Miller construction and G4S Security Company the consortium who would design, build and finance the custody cells for 30 years. The planning application was submitted last week Monday and it is hoped it will be fully operational by 1st August 2012.(Missed that date then!!) Regarding this new application, Parish Council minutes dated 16th April 2012 give more details of this new revised application. It is now to be Non PFI funded and the amount of cells has risen to 50 rather than 40. The original 2010 application stated that this "custody suite" will consist of "operational accommodation including a lost property store, amenity space, gym, cafe and 40 (now 50) custody cells which will include a photography room, 4 exercise yards, breathalyser and DNA rooms in addition to 270 car parking spaces". Now, I thought this "custody suite" was just to house people on a temporary basis until they could be transferred to court and then prison but I now wonder why they need A CAFE, A GYM, FOUR EXERCISE YARDS AND 270 PARKING SPACES! This sounds more like a prison to me. Surely the "prisoners" aren't going to be there longer than a couple of days, therefore not needing very much exercise? Is the cafe and the gym for the use of the prisoners or the police and why all those parking spaces? I'm afraid there seems to be much more to this than meets the eye. If the plans that were discussed at the 2010 Council meeting are the same as the ones that have just been approved then we have not been given all the relevant information, perhaps as a way of making sure there are no objections.

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  • darrellglos  |  November 08 2012, 3:19PM

    Why if they got this Gloucestershire Constabulary's headquarters at Waterwells why do they still need to at Bearland as well. Why be two locations, seems a waste of money to me.

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  • darrellglos  |  November 08 2012, 3:17PM

    Would be nice to know how much its all going to cost

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  • valhalla2010  |  November 08 2012, 2:05PM

    How much will this cost us? Can we make something out of old converted ISO containers? A scalable solution if ever there was one...

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  • IsitJimKerr  |  November 08 2012, 12:40PM

    Tut, tut. Aren't we all being rather cynical in deducing that 'offenders' will be sharing our morning bus ride. Surely if they're 'on the bus' they are totally innocent, and were only passing the scene of the crime with a suitably large holdall, as the ACTUALL miscreants smashed their way out of the property, and legged it in 'an easterly direction, officer'. OH SORRY I FORGOT, OUR RIDICULOUSLY PATHETIC JUDICIAL SYSTEM, MEANS THAT YOU HAVE TO ACTUALLY BE CAUGHT IN THE ACT, WITH VIDEO BACK UP, AND CAN PROVE THAT THE 'OFFENDER' WASN'T OFF THEIR FACE, OR TOTALLY P!SSED OUT OF THEIR BRAINS (NOT THEIR FAULT, M'LORD) OR SUFFERING FROM ADHD, ASPERGERS (NOT THEIR FAULT, M'LORD) ETC ETC. So sorry if the existing custody suite was comedic!!

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  • Vertigo23  |  November 08 2012, 12:09PM

    Excellent, so I get to share my already unpleasant morning bus journey to work with offenders that have been released in the morning. Must say can't wait for that one:/

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  • adrianbird  |  November 08 2012, 11:54AM

    Buses at 3am???? What planet are these people on exactly???

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  • system64  |  November 08 2012, 11:34AM

    Just create one big holding cell. Keep them in there with a bucket in the corner.

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  • Douglasknows  |  November 08 2012, 11:05AM

    "Laughed at by visitors"............... who cares what the "visitors" or in other words the offenders think anyway. The holding area should be no more than a cattle pen anyway!

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