Police in Wrexham are finally moving to their new home over the next few days with the new town centre station is set to open at the end of this week.
Wrexham’s police have had a base in the old 1970’s police tower, however that is set to be knocked down and possibly replaced with a supermarket.
Police moved out of the tower in mid January and as the new station was not quite ready they took up home the other side of the Waterworld carpark in the council’s Crown Buildings.
This week the final journey takes place with Crown Buildings being vacated across the road and into the former Oriel building attached to the Library, that has been totally transformed into a police station.
Downstairs sees a publicly accessible reception area and ‘front desk’ service as you would expect from a police station, along with four state of the art interview facilities and a hopefully long-empty ‘transit store’ evidence/recovered goods room.
Staff are being well looked after with brand new locker rooms with around 200 lockers and full shower room facilities. There are baby changing facilities, along with a small ‘tea port’. Another addition is a ‘quiet room’ for use if police have had to take part in a traumatic incident or similar, with staff wellbeing seeming key behind the development.
Airwaves and taser storage is next door to a room that appeared to be the second most exciting* in the new station, a new drying room. Previously we are told air heaters were used and were very poor at the job, whereas the new system ought to mean kit is dried out much quicker for those unlucky enough to get soaked or muddy out on a job.
Upstairs contains new office space for the inspector, sergeants and an area that will hold around 25 officers. There are three further offices along with a new branded up meeting room / briefing room. Canteen space and a gym are also included, along with IT rooms and support rooms.
Outside sees a new secure carpark with controlled entry for vehicles and people, with electric charging points ready for future use, along with bike racks.
The new police station felt to us a ‘proper’ facility, with the only thing lacking from what we would expect in a police station being a custody suite. That is provided ‘five minutes up the road in Llay’, where the new HQ building has a 32-cell custody unit, again state of the art modern facility as you would expect for one opened recently.
The move from the police tower to the former gallery had been on the cards for several years, with plans first mooted way back in 2014. Just 12 months earlier in 2013 it was revealed the main police headquarters for north east Wales was to relocate from the town to Llay. Plans for the redevelopment of the site were passed after a third attempt in February 2016, with councillors previously deferring the application twice due to concerns over the loss of disabled parking on Rhosddu Road.
An excited local Inspector Vic Powell kindly gave us a quick tour of the new town police station on Monday, with a quick video from inside viewable below…
(* Inspector Powell was most animated by the craftsmanship allowing a storeroom door to open without touching a shelf, which he described as ‘ace’.)
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