New police cells and office planned

NEW police cells and office space could be built in Sutterton as part of a groundbreaking contract between the force and private firm G4S, The Standard understands.

It has emerged that the development is part of a landmark £200 million contract to outsource much of the county’s back office police work, which was announced at the end of last year.

Lincolnshire Police Authority is tight-lipped about possible sites for a new two-storey police office and 30-cell custody suite, but The Standard understands that the location could be in Sutterton, or another venue between Boston and Spalding.

The force recently trialled closing the cells at Spalding Police Station as a cost-cutting measure, with detainees brought to Boston.

It is thought the location of new police cells could be chosen to help cut travel times for a shared custody arrangement.

A source, who asked not to be named, said: “G4S will do this where it makes commercial sense to them. Part of the contract is that they will do the fetching of detainees.”

Police authority chairman Coun Barry Young said: “Because of commercial sensitivity, we cannot comment until the formal contract with G4S – of which this is only one aspect – has been signed.

“Once a potential site has been identified, a planning application will be made to the relevant district authority. It will be for local planning officers to assess the application to ensure that it complies with national, county and local planning requirements and policies.

“They will also take into account representations made by technical consultees, such as the highways authority and the Environment Agency, and by the general public.”

The outsourcing deal will see G4S take on responsibility for custody, firearms licensing, town enquiry offices, the force control room, central ticket office, IT, human resources, asset management and finance.

More than half of the force’s 980 civilian staff are expected to transfer over to G4S.