Bid to turn Hucknall police station into a Nightingale Court is denied

Plans to turn Hucknall Police Station and Training Centre into a Nightingale Court to help with a backlog of cases have been scrapped.

By Shelley Marriott
Thursday, 21st January 2021, 3:23 pm

Last August, Police and Crime Commissioner, Paddy Tipping, and Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire Police, Craig Guildford, offered up the large Watnall Road police station free of charge.

The force said it could be open for business as soon as September 2020 and was even visited by government officials on more than one occasion.

Paddy Tipping, Nottinghamshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “Nationally the backlog of CPS cases is now up by 67 per cent, that’s 70,000 extra cases compared to a year ago.

Hucknall Police Station on Watnall Road

"In the magistrates courts it is verging on double this time last year.

“Meanwhile, we have too many victims, witnesses and defendants waiting for their case to heard.

"Currently there is not one Nightingale Court in the East Midlands, let alone Nottinghamshire which is why we offered up Hucknall police station.

"Despite a couple of visits they said that they had a ‘site in mind’, but we don’t know where that is.

“I have heard that some crown court cases may be heard at Mansfield Magistrates Court, which is positive, but will not solve a problem of this size.

“Today, all four of Her Majesty’s Justice Chief Inspectors have expressed “grave concerns” about the potential long-term impact of Covid-19-related court backlogs on the criminal justice system across England and Wales.

“I’m sure that by working together we can identify a viable solution to speed up the justice process, and one that is safe for everyone concerned.”

The site was picked after the neighbourhood police team had moved out of Hucknall police station to the East Midlands ambulance station in Annesley Road.

They now share the facility with firefighters and paramedics. The training centre has now been moved to West Bridgford and the facility is empty and ready for use.

The classrooms would be used as court rooms to hear cases.

A HM Courts and Tribunals Service spokesman said: “The building did not meet our safety and security requirements and would have needed significant investment to be suitable.”

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