Photograph showing the inside of the new Waterside Custody Suite.
Photograph showing the inside of the new Waterside Custody Suite.

A new purpose-built custody suite has this week officially opened within the existing Waterside PSNI Station site. 

The 21-cell suite, built at a current estimated construction cost of £15m, will provide custody provision for the whole of the North West, from Coleraine to Strabane. It’s expected the number of people detained in the Waterside facility per month will average between 400 and 500.

Police Service of Northern Ireland Assistant Chief Constable Ryan Henderson said: “The new Waterside Custody Suite, designed to operate with larger numbers of detained persons, is part of a wider modernisation and improvement of custody provision across Northern Ireland to keep all those within the custody environment safe, which includes detainees, staff and other users.

“At times, we deal with detainees whose needs are complex, and may be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or may be experiencing a mental health crisis. It’s crucial our custody provision is fit-for-purpose and can continue to meet health and safety requirements while, at the same time, enable an efficient criminal justice process.”

Anyone detained, and who previously would have been taken into custody at Strand Road, which had nine cells, and Coleraine which had 10 cells, will now go to Waterside. Strand Road Custody Suite has consequently closed while the Coleraine Suite will be used on an ad-hoc basis.