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Nottinghamshire opens revamped DRI facility at Newark Police station

The original suite was named after fallen PC Christopher McDonald, who was murdered in 1978 while trying to apprehend burglary suspects.

Nottinghamshire Police has opened a revamped interview suite at Newark Police, relocating an existing facility named after a PC who was murdered in the line of duty over 40 years ago.

The new Digitally Recorded Interview (DRI) suite is designed to enable sexual assault survivors and other victims of crime to give evidence in a safe and supportive environment.

Detective Inspector Gail Routledge said: “DRI suits are extremely important to our work and can prove absolutely invaluable in bringing some of the most serious offenders to justice.

“It is likely that the victims and witnesses we interview at these locations will very recently have experienced extremely traumatic events and it is vital that we get an evidential account from them as soon as possible.

“These recordings can then be used in court and in many cases will be the only time people have to talk about what happened to them."

This suite, the seventh such facility in the county, has been refurbished as part of ongoing development at the site.

Making use of two rooms that have been repurposed with new kit, the force says each facility meets or exceeds national standards.

The original facility had to be moved because it was located in a part of Newark Police station which has since been sold to the East Midlands Ambulance Service.

As with the original suite, which opened in 2007, this DRI facility has been named after fallen PC Christopher McDonald.

PC McDonald was killed on May 17, 1978 with his own truncheon and a brick after chasing a suspected burglar in Worksop during a night shift.

The 19-year-old had only served on the force for eight months when he died. Pete Albert Loveday, 20, was later convicted of PC McDonald’s murder and jailed for life.

In 1980, PC McDonald was posthumously awarded the Queen’s Commendation for Bravery. 

DI Routledge said she is "delighted" to have maintained the connection to the former PC, whose family were invited down to see the revamp.

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