Surrey

Surrey Police win Salfords custody suite appeal

Police cell being locked - generic
Image caption The force currently has custody suites in Guildford, Staines and Woking, as well as Reigate

A controversial plan for a new custody suite near a Surrey village has been approved following an appeal.

Reigate and Banstead Council rejected the initial plan for a 30-cell suite on Salbrook Road industrial estate in Salfords.

But Surrey Police lodged a successful appeal with the Planning Inspectorate after reducing the cells to 24.

The force currently has custody suites in Guildford, Staines and Woking, as well as Reigate.

'Short-term interest'

It said the current 12-cell custody provision at Reigate Police Station was outdated and inadequate.

Supt Ray Blyth said: "The decision means our ability to protect the community in east Surrey is not compromised by regular custody closures.

"This was having a detrimental effect on resources available in east Surrey."

Crispin Blunt, the Conservative MP for Reigate, said the force should have examined other options.

He said the force should have explored developing a new police station and custody suite on a combined site in the east of the county.

He said: "Short-term interest has triumphed over long-term interest."

Resident Stuart Norton said: "We are a small, peaceful and law-abiding community.

"The idea of having previously apprehended people released into it was of major concern to us."

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