Prince Charles hails “marvellous” Norfolk police
- Credit: PA
Prince Charles hailed the 'marvellous' work of Norfolk police as he toured the county's most modern police station today.
He met officers and staff, and saw some of the latest equipment they use and talked about 21st Century policing as he visited the county's new divisional HQ at King's Lynn.
Before he officially opened the station, on St James Street, the Prince said: 'I know first hand of the marvellous work you do as many of the police officers who look after us while we're at Sandringham come from of course this very police station.
'I realise that some of the close protection officers here today are part of that Sandringham team and I suspect I've seen some of you when giving long service and good conduct medals over the last I don't know how many years.'
The Prince said photographs in the corridors showed how the work of the station had changed over the years.
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'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,' he said.
'I've seen that terrific spirit of partnership today, hearing of how you combine 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.
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'This is a true case of the whole being greater than the sum of its constituent parts.
'In place of cells you have rooms occupied by multi-agency teams working together to reduce offending and I'm so delighted, may I say so, that you're working with my Prince's Trust to promote positive opportunities for young people to help boost confidence, self-esteem and motivation to help transform lives.' Chief Constable Simon Bailey said it was a pleasure to welcome the Prince to the station 32 years after he first walked through its doors as a new recruit.
'I think you will agree the architects, the staff all the people who have contributed to the refurbishment of the of the building have done a truly fabulous job and we are all very very proud of what the police station looks like today.'
He added the new building would enable officers to deliver 'the very best' service to the community.
After being welcomed by Mr Bailey and police and crime commissioner Lorne Green, the Prince's first stop was the front desk where he met district commander Supt Dave Buckley and reception staff who deal with enquiries from the public.
He then met forensic officers, who demonstrated some of their investigative techniques. Members of the special constabulary and police cadets Michael Smith, 17 and Sophie Cousins, 16 were introduced to the Prince. Both cadets hope to become officers.
After meeting advisers, architects and pupils from Springwood High School, who all had a hand in designing new building, the Prince was shown around the station's fitness centre by Lauren Soames, the force's head of health and well-being.
'It looks like torture,' the Prince said, looking at the gym equipment.
Sgt Donna Wiseman introduced the Prince to members of the operational partnership team, which is made up of police, social workers, housing officers, charities and other agencies who work together to support vulnerable people.
The Prince also met Sgt Matt Abbs and intelligence officers, who described how they had run an operation targeting illegal cigarette suppliers in King's Lynn.
The station, on St James Street, was given a £3.1m face-lift last year. Originally built in the 1950s, the building was down sized and altered to provide better facilities for response and safer neighbourhood officers, forensic services, CID and rehabilitation teams.
It also includes a new partnership hub, where officers work alongside social services, housing authorities, victim services and charities.
Cells were removed from the building before the refurb. They were replaced with new custody and interview facilities at a new police investigation centre, which opened at Saddlebow in 2011.