Anderson fears over police custody closures

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Upper Bann MLA Sydney Anderson has voiced concerns about the temporary closure of police suites in the Upper Bann area.

The suite in Banbridge has already been closed, with a similar plan for Lurgan Police Station next year.

He said, “I am aware that solicitors in the area have voiced their fears on this matter as well and as such I feel the community should also be concerned about recent developments.

“There is a genuine fear that the PSNI could be hindered greatly in their efforts to carry out arrests of suspected criminals because there now exists real pressures on custody suite availability in our local police stations. Worryingly, dangerous people could end up being left to roam the streets due to the fact that the police do not have the capabilities to go fully through arrest procedures.

“I am aware that work at the custody suite facility in Banbridge is expected to carry on until December 2015 and after the suite is reopened work is scheduled to begin on custody suite facilities in Lurgan PSNI station. The police have indicated that while this refurbishment work is taking place the custody facilities in Armagh, Dungannon, Omagh and Enniskillen will be available for arrests in the South Area, which encompasses Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon District.

“This is far from perfect - not only will police costs rise due to the extra travel required, but legal fees will also increase.”