Police detainees to continue to be held at Eastbourne custody centre

Prisoners from the Hastings and Rother area will continue to be transported to Eastbourne's custody centre at the town's police station for the foreseeable future.

Monday, 26th March 2018, 5:45 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 12:18 am
Hastings Police Station (File Photo)

A date has yet to be fixed on the reopening of the custody suite at Hastings police station.

The facility shut almost six months ago for refurbishment.

A Sussex Police spokesman said: “No dates have yet been set for partial or full re-opening.

“The custody centre, which had eight male, four female and one juvenile cell, has been closed since Monday, October 2, 2017.

It was closed as not compliant with current health and safety standards. New laws have been introduced over the years and non-compliance with new standards is the reason for the closure.

“Fire safety improvements are continuing and work is ongoing to meet the necessary requirements for a partial reopening. The capacity will be for a maximum of four detainees at any one time.

“The estimate for a full reopening would require further extensive structural changes to take place.

“The site was last refurbished in 1999. Some of the crucial pieces of work include a new front to the centre, a new bridge area where all detainees are booked in, a complete overhaul of the CCTV, and a new fire escape route which would lead into the police car park

“Once we are 100 per cent sure all outstanding work is completed as detailed within the Fire Safety Report, only then will we approach East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service to arbitrate. Only when ESFRS sanctions that the Hastings custody centre is safe, will we partially reopen.

“We have put in place measures to reduce the impact on operational policing and ensure it is business as usual. A van has been deployed to transport prisoners from Hastings and Rother district to the custody centre at Hammonds Drive at Eastbourne. Officers continue to arrest as usual.

“These measures ensure the service delivered to the community in Hastings and Rother is not affected as a result of the custody centre being closed.

“We must ensure the custody centre at Hastings abides by the regulations to ensure the safety of our staff, officers and detainees.

“The safety of our staff, officers and detainees is paramount which is why we will only partially reopen to ensure all who are within Hastings custody centre are in a safe environment which complies with current fire regulation standards.”