New state-of-the-art custody building opens at Kempston police HQ


Bedford’s chief constable and PCC were joined by the High Sheriff of Bedfordshire and the Vice Lord-Lieutenant to cut the ribbon on the force’s brand new state-of-the-art custody building in Kempston.

The 22-cell custody block and additional office space was officially opened on Thursday (21 April) by Chief Constable Garry Forsyth, Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner Festus Akinbusoye, High Sheriff of Bedfordshire Lady Jane Clifford and the Vice Lord-Lieutenant Chris Sharwood-Smith MBE.

Planning permission was approved in 2020 for the multi-million pound custody block and the building has been in use since the beginning of April.

It has enabled new teams, previously based across the county, to move back to force headquarters to join their fellow investigative teams.

Chief Constable Garry Forsyth, High Sheriff of Bedfordshire Lady Jane Clifford, the Vice Lord-Lieutenant Chris Sharwood-Smith MBE Police and Police and Crime Commissioner, Festus Akinbusoye

Chief constable Garry Forsyth said: “This is an amazing investment for the force and a positive change for Bedfordshire Police.

“New technology and innovative design will help us give the maximum care and support for those visiting custody, as we continue to improve the service we give.

“As well as the new custody suite, the new working space for officers and staff will create an innovative and cohesive way of working.

“The building will benefit the force for many years to come, and marks a key piece of history for the force.”

Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner Festus Akinbusoye added: “This is the first major construction project by Bedfordshire Police in decades.

“Our new custody building, not only delivers a modern facility for processing offenders, it also provides much needed space for our Public Protection Unit and the work they do investigating volume crimes like burglaries, as well as serious sexual violence.

“I want to thank all those involved in delivering this vital project on time and on budget.”

Vice Lord-Lieutenant Chris Sharwood-Smith MBE said: “This amazing state of the art facility will benefit the people of Bedfordshire by improving relationships with offenders and support them to break the re-offending cycle.”

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