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016/2014: Decision to invest in the refurbishment of Northallerton Police Station and custody suite – 03 November 2014

Executive Summary:

The Commissioner is asked to approve the necessary investment for a rolling programme of improvements to refurbish facilities (including custody) at Northallerton Police Station.

North Yorkshire Police has an estates strategy, which identifies buildings in need of improvement and maintenance, and that tackles these projects according to a planned programme.

Northallerton Police Station was identified through the strategy as a building that would require improvement. However, a minimal approach to maintenance was deemed prudent on the grounds that Northallerton Police Station was scheduled for closure, as the facilities were due to be incorporated in proposals to build a new Northern Base Police HQ at South Kilvington. This HQ would have included the operational element of Northallerton Station, and a new-build custody suite, alongside HQ accommodation.

After much consideration, it was decided in July of this year, to call a halt to the Northern Base proposal, on the back of a new opportunity to utilize some space within Cleveland Police’s new-build Community Safety Hub on the North Yorkshire border, and in response to detailed analysis of custody demand across the region. The collaboration with Cleveland in particular offered the opportunity to take a different approach to accommodation provision, that would reduce estates investment costs by £10m, providing better value to the tax-payer.

As the Northern Base HQ will not go ahead, the Estates team has reviewed the position for Northallerton Police Station. Whilst the facilities are serviceable, and the custody suite is safe for use, Home Office guidance on acceptable standards has changed over time, and it is clear that refurbishment work is required to bring facilities up to the appropriate standards for a building of Northallerton Station’s size and type.

It is therefore proposed that North Yorkshire Police should undertake remedial and improvement works to Northallerton main station, and its custody suite.

The full five year investment programme will require an investment of £498,000. However, it is recommended that this be phased, with the bulk of the investment (£399,000 to improve standards in line with national guidelines) to take place in 2015. Further investment will be ring-fenced for the subsequent four years, but will be kept under review, in line with the need to align investment patterns with the needs of operational policing as this develops through the Operational Policing Model.

Police and Crime Commissioner decision: Approved
Signature: signature
Date: 03 November 2014
Title: Police and Crime Commissioner


Part 1 – unrestricted facts and advice to the PCC

  1. Introduction and background

Home Office guidance in relation to custody facilities has changed over time, and remedial work is now necessary to bring the facility into line with appropriate standards.

Capital investment of approximately £498,000 will be required to improve the facilities , with the bulk of that investment required in the 2015/16 financial year.

It is proposed that the existing custody suite be closed for use during the majority of the on-site physical works, and re-opened following successful completion of the project.

  1. Matters for consideration

The custody facility at Northallerton is 27 years old, so it should not be expected (and would not be possible) to bring it up to the standard required of new facilities.  This is due to the physical restrictions associated with the site.

However it is possible to invest in the custody suite to improve a number of elements.  When coupled to a robust custody operating procedure, this will extend the useable life-span of the facility whilst satisfying immediate Home Office requirements.

In considering whether or not to invest, the Commissioner may wish to note that Northallerton Police Station will be the location for one of the Investigation Hubs, which North Yorkshire Police is introducing in order to streamline the investigation process, and bring about swifter justice for victims.  This would suggest that bringing the facility up-to-par, would be a worthwhile investment for the immediate future.

Nonetheless, the Commissioner should also be aware that the trend of custody demand is downwards.  This is due, in part, to policing approaches and consideration of the appropriateness of custody for some offenders.  In particular, plans will soon be implemented to introduce a new Place of Safety in Northallerton for those with mental health problems, to reduce the need to place these vulnerable people in custody.  It is also mooted that practice relating to custody for child offenders may be changed in the future, which again would mean a reduction in custody demand.  In light of these actual/potential developments, it is proposed  that the refurbishment be phased over a period of five years.  The main investment would fall into the 2015/16 financial year, as a significant amount of essential work is required to make necessary improvements.  However, the rest of the programme can be phased over the subsequent four years, in order to give the Commissioner opportunity to review the appropriateness of further spend, in light of any possible future changes in demand and taking the operational advice on requirements from the Chief Constable at the appropriate time.

  1. Other options considered, if any

As it is now considered to be an operational requirement based on current demand analysis to retain Northallerton Police Station and custody facility, this is required to be refurbished to be retained as an operational facility for the medium-term future.

Future requirements, based on operational demand assessment and any changes arising from wider criminal justice reforms will inform future investment and decision making.  It is expected that requirements and demands will change over time and as with all investments those associated with this decision will be kept under review.

  1. Contribution to Police and Crime Plan outcomes

This supports the corporate objective of transforming the organisation, which incorporates sustainability, making best use of corporate assets, ensuring best value and investing in a fit-for-the-future police service.

5.            Consultations carried out 

Operational assessments have been undertaken to evaluate demand and inform the estate requirement and investment necessary.  Property and Facilities have taken into account Home Office standards and requirements, health and safety issues and legislative compliance when assessing the necessary investment. 

6.            Financial Implications/Value for money 

Capital investment is required of approx £498,000 to fund this project over the next five years profiled as follows:

DN image

The above amounts will need to be built into the force Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP).

There will also be a cost implication for the Transportation of detainee’s during the closure to other NYP custody facilities but this is not envisaged to be significant.

Chief Constables Chief Finance Officer Comments:

If this decision notice is approved, funding will be earmarked in the MTFP and the Capital Plan for the investment outlined.  There is sufficient funding available within Capital Reserves to fund this without resorting to borrowing at this time.

7.            Legal Implications 

Having read this report and having considered such information as has been provided at the time of being asked to express this view, the Acting Force Solicitor and Head of Legal Services is satisfied that this report does not ask the PCC for North Yorkshire to make a decision which would (or would be likely to) give rise to a contravention of the law.

8.            Equality Implications

Relevant equality implications have been taken into account and will be factored into works as part of meeting the required standards.

9.            Human Resources Implications 

Consideration has been given to the content of this notice and no obvious people related issues are noted at this time as this relates specifically to the refurbishment of premises. 

Public Access to information 

The Police and Crime Commissioner wishes to be as open and transparent as possible about the decisions he/she takes or are taken in his/her name. All decisions taken by the Commissioner will be subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).

As a general principle, the Commissioner expects to be able to publish all decisions taken and all matters taken into account and all advice received when reaching the decision. Part 1 of this Notice will detail all information which the Commissioner will disclose into the public domain. The decision and information in Part 1 will be made available on the NYPCC web site within 2 working days of approval.

Only where material is properly classified as restricted under the GPMS or if that material falls within the description at 2(2) of The Elected Local Policing Bodies (Specified Information) Order 2011 will the Commissioner not disclose decisions and/or information provided to enable that decision to be made. In these instances, Part 2 of the Form will be used to detail those matters considered to be restricted.  Information in Part 2 will not be published.

Is there a Part 2 to this Notice – YES        (please delete as appropriate)

If Yes, what is the reason for restriction – Commercially sensitive

 Originating Officer Declaration – Author name:  J Carter 003594 

  Name      (Collar Number) Date of completion (√)
Head of Departmenthas reviewed the request and is satisfied that it is correct and consistent with the NYPCC’s plans and priorities. Joanna Carter3594  30/10/14
Legal AdviceLegal advice has been sought on this proposal and is considered not to expose the PCC to risk of legal challenge or such risk is outlined in Part 1 or Part 2 of this Notice. Jane Wintermeyer 3840 31/10/14
Financial AdviceThe CC CFO has been consulted on this proposal, for which budgetary provision already exists or is to be made in accordance with Part 1 or Part 2 of this Notice. Jane Palmer 4364 31/10/14
Equalities AdviceEither there is considered to be minimal impact or the impact is outlined in Part1 or Part2 of this Notice.  Author to complete as Equalities matters are mainstreamed within departments. Joanna Carter3594  30/10/14
HR AdviceHR advice has been sought in relation to any people related matters  Rosemarie Holmes4647 31/10/14


I confirm that all the above advice has been sought and received and I am satisfied that this is an appropriate request to be submitted for a decisionSignature    J Carter                                                                                                Date 30 October 2014 



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