PSNI base will be operational in 2015

PSNI base will be operational in 2015

23 November 2011 - by JOANNE FLEMING


BUILDING work on Downpatrick’s new £9.5m police station will begin early in 2013, it has been announced.

The long awaited facility, which will replace the increasingly dilapidated station in Irish Street, will be completed by 2015.

Built over six acres on the current Downshire Hospital site, the state-of-the-art facility is expected to be part of a local government complex on the Ardglass Road.

The new station will be open to the public approximately three weeks after

construction but there will

be a phased transfer of personnel when Irish Street will remain open to the community.

Commander for ‘C’ District, chief superintendent Nigel Grimshaw, said the local community will get a police station of which they could be proud.

“I am committed to ensuring that the people of Downpatrick receive the personal, professional protective policing service they deserve,” he said.

“The current station in Irish Street has served the public and police for a very long time through some difficult periods but it is far from modern and it is our aim to provide a modern accessible and comfortable facility which is safe for members of the community and the officers who serve them.”

Down Area Commander chief inspector Deirdre Bones, said modern policing needed modern facilities to adequately serve the public.

“My officers have used the Irish Street station since long before I became area commander, and we all agree that at times it can be cramped, and it is most certainly showing its age,” she said. “I am delighted with the news that soon they will be coming to work in a more comfortable environment. This is a significant investment for local policing and the community”.

Chairman of the Down District Policing Partnership, councillor William Dick, welcomed confirmation of a new PSNI station for Downpatrick.

“Members of the Partnership have continued to raise concerns over the years about the condition of the station situated in Irish Street, so we are extremely pleased that the police service in Down District can now look forward to operating out of modern premises,” he said. “It is also an important development for the community who can now see that investment is being made to improve policing facilities in their district.”

Welcoming the announcement, MP Margaret Ritchie said she looked forward to the appointment of designers and architects to the project and it being progressed as quickly as possible.

“This will also free up the Irish Street site and allow completion of the Public Realm scheme in Downpatrick,” she said. “Furthermore this new station will provide much needed new jobs in the construction industry.”

DUP councillor William Walker also welcomed the announcement but said recent police proposals to close smaller stations in the district remained a major concern.

“They will be opening the new Downpatrick station in 2015 at a time when they plan to close Ballynahinch station,” he said.