Broad Green custody unit cost £17.3million to build
THE new custody unit in Broad Green has cost a staggering £17.3 million – with the future of South Norwood Police Station still under review in a bid to save cash.
The amount – roughly the equivalent of the annual salary of around 550 police constables – has been released to the Advertiser by the Met.
This follows a Freedom of Information request where the "forecast project cost" is revealed.
The modern facility, in Windmill Road, houses 41 cells and officially opened last month.
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But police have previously admitted the state-of-the-art centre means the Met's other buildings in the borough would come under scrutiny.
Although no final decision has been announced, it is understood South Norwood Police Station has been earmarked for closure, with the Met calling it "underused".
South Norwood resident John White said: "We've already got one building (South Norwood), why did they have to make another one and spend £17.3 million?
"Why don't they improve the one they've got – it seems a waste of taxpayers money.
"They should put this money into putting police officers on the streets, not just in cars."
The issue of South Norwood Police Station was addressed at the public Question Time meeting organised by Croydon Council on Tuesday evening.
Although Croydon Council cannot stop the closure, Councillor Dudley Mead told the gathering at South Norwood Baptist Church: "I remember going to the opening of it, it doesn't seem that long ago.
"I think it seems rather daft that in a short space of time, it's destined to be closed."
South Norwood resident Orlene Allen said: "It would be interesting to know how much it costs to run the station (South Norwood) and how much they'll save?
Another resident, Jackie Hall, added: "We are very concerned about the proposed closure of the police station.
"Its location provides us with security, particularly with regard to incoming football fans and groups displaying antisocial behaviour."
The Met has defended its decision to spend millions of pounds on the unit.
And it confirmed once again that no firm decision has been made about the future of South Norwood Police Station.
In a statement, it said: "As part of a wide-ranging modernisation and improvement programme, the MPS (Metropolitan Police Service) is determined to make custody sites as safe, effective and efficient as possible.
"One aspect of this review is for the MPS to make best use of investment in larger, more modern custody sites.
"Larger suites with more cells, interview rooms and other facilities offer significant advantages over smaller buildings, that were not designed with modern policing in mind."