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Custody suite wins design award

The Nottinghamshire Police building, which was opened in August, recently won the Design Excellence Award at the East Midlands Property Awards.

Nottinghamshire’s new 50-cell custody suite has been recognised with a regional design award.

The building was constructed on disused land and is all on one level removing any added difficulties of going up and down stairs. Cells are split into four wings and each cell contains a call unit that allows detainees to contact staff.

It has a separated vulnerable wing for detainees who are disabled, under 18 or living with conditions such as autism.

The building also houses interview and consultation rooms as well as office space for police staff.

There is a photovoltaic array on the roof to produce sustainable energy as well as sun-pipes that provide natural lighting inside.

The materials for the building were managed 40 miles from the site and 98 per cent of waste was diverted from landfill.

Maggie Khiari, a custody support officer with more than 30 years of experience, said: "Working in custody is hard because the people we are dealing with can be very volatile. They may be under the impact of drink or drugs; or may be experiencing a mental health crisis.

“Ultimately our job is to keep people safe and comfortable while their cases are being investigated, and I have always found that the best way to do that is to treat people well – to put them in a clean cell and to ensure they have everything they need to be comfortable.

“Clearly the building itself plays a massive part in all of that and I am pleased to say that this new building is a vast improvement to what we had before.

“I know some people will say that we are treating our detainees too well, but it’s important to remember that the people who come here have not necessarily committed an offence – they are just being investigated. We are not here to punish them and it’s important we remember that.”

The building was opened in August and replaced the old Bridewell custody facility in Nottingham city centre.

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