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DN 10/2017: Northallerton Police Station to be sold and services moved to Alverton Court and Harrogate

Northallerton Police Station to be sold and services moved to Alverton Court and Harrogate


In September 2016 the Chief Constable undertook a trial closure of Northallerton custody with those detainees normally being taken to Northallerton being taken to Harrogate custody instead; the most modern and recently built, but underutilised, custody facility within North Yorkshire.  Further measures were put in place to facilitate the use of Darlington and Middlesbrough Custody facilities in certain circumstances.  Before commencing the trial, a risk assessment was undertaken, and measures put in place to mitigate those risks as far as possible, minimising the impact on operational policing across Hambleton and Richmondshire, and ensuring community safety was not affected.

Since 2011 the number of arrests across North Yorkshire and York has reduced by 26%, with Northallerton experiencing a reduction of 50% – resulting in 1,261 arrests in 2016.  This reduction in arrests is replicated nationally and reported formally by The Office of National Statistics. Reasons for the reduction include:

  • Legislative changes of PACE Code G that requires officers to demonstrate the necessity of an arrest
  • Increased powers & legislation in respect of Out of Court Disposals and initiatives like restorative justice
  • Introduction of s136 Mental Health Act Places of Safety
  • Introduction of Voluntary Attendance suites
  • 2017 changes to the Bail Act

Northallerton Custody now sees an average demand of fewer than 3 detainees in an average 24-hour period.

Given the outcomes of the trial closure, as detailed in the attached operational report, the better facilities and capacity available at Harrogate and the significant and continued reduction in the use of the Northallerton Custody facility, the Chief Constable has advised that, from an operational perspective, the Northallerton Custody facility is not needed and he can still deliver against the objectives as set out in the Police and Crime Plan.

Importantly, when looking at the costs of providing a custody facility in Northallerton, previous plans had highlighted a need to invest around £231k to refurbish the current facility and improve current conditions. This however would only extend custody’s useful life by around 5 years before a longer-term solution would be required.  In addition, with the police’s move to Alverton Court in Northallerton, it is no longer necessary to spend an additional £229k on upgrading the current local police station as the service can be moved to Alverton Court. Together, these facts mean that over the next 5-years, it would cost over £2.5m to keep the current police station, including the refurbishment costs, the staff required to run the custody facility and the running costs of the building itself.

The £2.5m savings will contribute to being able to deliver/maintain other services provided by the Commissioner, given the challenging financial environment that the organisation continues to work within. It also provides the opportunity to make better use of the modern facilities already available at Harrogate, therefore improving the value for money of that facility. While there will be costs incurred in the use of the other facilities, in term of additional mileage and travel time for staff, these will be significantly less that the costs of continuing to use the facility in Northallerton.

Decision Record

The PCC has reviewed the Chief Constable’s custody report and has closely considered his operational advice that the custody facility in Northallerton is not needed.

With this in mind, along with the move of the local police station to Alverton Court and the £2.5m financial savings set out in this decision notice, the Police and Crime Commissioner has determined that Northallerton Police Station should be sold.

In addition, the Police and Crime Commissioner would like to see North Yorkshire Police develop the operational working between Durham Constabulary and Cleveland Police, which has been established over the past 12 months.


Julia Mulligan
Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire
Date: 24 October 2017


Statutory Officer Advice

Legal, Management and Equality Implications

The PCC’s CEO and Monitoring Officer has confirmed that he has found no legal implications for the PCC within this proposal and that it takes account of the duties under s. 1(6) –(8) of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011.

Financial and Commercial

The PCC’s Chief Finance Officer and S151 Officer confirms that the Service’s estimated savings are sound and advises that the closure of the custody suite means that the current premises will no longer be required, triggering a disposal process.

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