Durham Constabulary has not listened to stakeholders comments prior to announcing proposals to create a centralised custody facility. I have privately raised my opposition to any centralised custody facility, however, now that Durham Constabulary have placed their intentions in the public domain, it is right that the public see that these proposals to do not command political support.

In the weeks ahead, I will campaign to block efforts to close Peterlee custody facilities, and believe such a major decision should be taken by a democratically accountable Police and Crime Commissioner, rather than an appointee who is Acting Police and Crime Commissioner until May 2021.

Following news reports I made the following comments:

“Any decision to close cells at Peterlee will take police off the streets in East Durham. A one hour round trip to a centralised custody facility in Spennymoor is an ineffective use of police time.
 
Cleveland Police tried a similar scheme, using the same arguments adopted by Durham Constabulary. However, the reality, reduced police patrols and hours lost transporting prisoners mean the changes command little public or political support.
 
Centralised custody facilities have far-reaching implications for policing, and the public deserve to have their views represented. A new Police and Crime Commissioner, to be elected in May, will have a democratic mandate to make long term strategic decisions over the future of policing.

This ill-advised decision, to squander millions of pounds of reserves on a centralised custody facility, should not be taken by an appointed Acting Police and Crime Commissioner.”

After first being made aware of proposals, I lodged the following objection to Durham Constabulary.

Durham Constabulary
Durham Constabulary
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