A TOPPING out ceremony of a new police centre in Portsmouth has been held.
The celebration marks the completion of the steelwork and concrete core of the police investigation centre which is scheduled to open next summer.
The event was attended by Police and Crime Commissioner Michael Lane, the Chief Constable of Hampshire Constabulary Olivia Pinkney, and was hosted by Mace, the contractors constructing the site.
Mr Lane said: ‘I am delighted to be here today to mark this important milestone in the construction of the police investigation centre.
‘Everybody involved in the partnership to ensure this important building is completed has my support. I’m delighted that we are on time and on budget.’
As previously reported in The News, the budget for the centre, at Merlin Park, off Airport Service Road in Copnor, has increased by £13m since the concept was first drawn up.
In 2014, plans were publicly given an £18m price tag but papers seen by The News show by 2015 this had increased to £24m. Details of costs requested by The News under freedom of information law found by August 2017 this cost had gone to £31.4m.
Mr Lane added: ‘This new centre will integrate an investigation hub and custody suite in facilities that are fit for the future.
‘It will lead to more efficient processing and investigation of detainees and will return arresting officers back to policing in their local communities more quickly.
‘This is a really important day for those who are constructing the police investigation centre and for us all.’