King's Lynn's revamped police station given royal seal of approval as Prince Charles officially opens new base
Lynn's revamped police station got a royal seal of approval this morning when the Prince of Wales officially opened the new base.
Prince Charles was given a guided tour of the new facilities by Chief Constable Simon Bailey, who said the building had changed a lot since he first started as a police officer there in the 80s.
Along the way, Charles met a variety of people including policing staff, police cadets, architects and students from Springwood High School who were involved in the refurbishment project.
Frontline officers also demonstrated how modern technology is helping in the fight against crime through the use of mobile devices and body worn video.
After his tour, Charles unveiled a plaque to declare the station open and said he knew "first hand" of the "marvellous work" the staff do, as many of the officers who look after the Royal family when they are at Sandringham at Christmas are normally based at Lynn's police station.
He added: “Of course looking at some of the old photographs which I couldn’t help notice walking along the corridors, this building has seen many changes as the nature of policing has obviously evolved.
“But what you have in common with your predecessors is that sense of professionalism, commitment to the public good and partnership with the community which makes Norfolk Constabulary what it is.
“Well if I may say so I have seen that terrific spirit of partnership today, hearing of how you combine for instance the specialist knowledge of different agencies to support those who need help, those at risk, and vulnerable, those who might otherwise commit crime or become victims of crime, and this is a true case of a whole being greater than the sum of its constituent parts."
Charles said he was "delighted" that the force was also working with the Prince's Trust to "promote positive opportunities for young people".
He added: “So ladies and gentlemen I couldn’t be more pleased to open this building, perhaps not quite fitting the description of a police station as you seem somehow to have created something which transcends that title, but rather a more appropriate name might be a community problem-solving hub or something similar but I have a feeling it might not catch on.
“However it is described, I just wanted to, if I may say so, express my huge admiration for the dedication which you all show and the way you work together in the best interests in the communities you serve, not forgetting of course your families who support you in so many difficult times.
“Ladies and gentlemen your personal commitment and professionalism are remarkable and they are much respected and appreciated and I can only thank you most warmly for that continued service.”
Lynn's Police Station, which was originally built in the 1950s, was refurbished between October 2016 and December 2017 as part of a £3.1m project.
The building has been downsized and altered to provide "fit-for-purpose" accommodation.
The re-developed base is home to front line response and neighbourhood officers, forensic services, CID, offender rehabilitation and the Operational Partnership Team, made up of staff from different agencies including adult and children’s services, housing officers and charities, who work together to ensure a joined-up approach to tackling and preventing issues.
Chief Constable Simon Bailey said it was a "very special day" for the policing staff in Lynn.
He said: "We are, I believe, the only police force in the country, outside the Metropolitan Police service, that provides royalty protection for the Royal family, on the Sandringham estate.
"So of course I am very, very proud of that and I understand the intense responsibility that goes with that, and obviously King's Lynn Police Station is a base where a lot of the officers that will attend the Christmas court and various other functions at Sandringham over the course of the year are based here during their day-to-day work."
Mr Bailey said the new facilities allow officers to deliver the "best possible services to our community".
He added: "Ultimately I want my officers to recognise that we are investing in them in terms of their occupational health, in terms of the quality of the work that they provide and that leads to one thing and that's good policing for King's Lynn and the surrounding area, that's the most important thing."