Isle of Man News - POSTED Fri 04-07-2014

£2.8million for new cell block

by Joanne Clague

£2.8million for new cell block - picture

Plans to build a custody block at police headquarters in Douglas will be laid before the final sitting of Tynwald before the summer recess.

Members will be asked to approve expenditure of £2.8million to replace the existing out-dated facility. All Douglas detention facilities will be on one site, allowing for the closure of the Lord Street station, which fell victim to budget cuts.

Home Affairs Minister Juan Watterson said: 'The new block has become necessary to meet the ever more stringent demands of safer detention. In the modern custody setting, the current facilities have become increasingly unfit for purpose.

'Subject to Tynwald approval, the proposed development will be designed and constructed to the latest specifications for police custody units and provide enhanced facilities for healthcare and legal advisers. This will enable better working practices and remove the need for overflow units to be opened at times of peak demand, reducing staffing costs in terms of overtime requirements.'

If the scheme gets the go-ahead, work on the new custody block will start in August with a scheduled completion date in March 2015.

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