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New prison is best in England'

PUBLISHED: 17:09 21 May 2008 | UPDATED: 09:46 23 August 2010

A £30 MILLION state-of-the-art police station has been hailed as one of the best equipped in the county. The four-storey North Kent Police station, in Thamesway, Northfleet, was completed this month and the Gravesend Reporter was given access on Friday.

A £30 MILLION state-of-the-art police station has been hailed as one of the best equipped in the county.

The four-storey North Kent Police station, in Thamesway, Northfleet, was completed this month and the Gravesend Reporter was given access on Friday.

Designers have included a 40-cell custody suite and a large atrium, called The Street, which contains a canteen and meeting places.

Chief Superintendent Gary Beautridge, area commander for north Kent, said: "We are absolutely delighted to be in what we believe is the best police station in the county.

"We are very happy and proud of what has been done here. This is an awesome, state-of-the-art facility and it marks some exciting times for us.

"The forensic facilities are 21st century and having 40 cells as opposed to the 18 we had before makes a huge difference.

"This police station will allow us to have more officers out on the streets more quickly."

The move from Gravesend to Dartford police stations is still taking place, and they will shut when the move is completed in the next few weeks.

Several years ago, Kentish Times Newspapers launched the 'Keep Bobbies on the Beat' campaign when it was announced the town centre police stations were to close. It has since been announced that police front counter facilities will be based in the Civic Centre, Dartford, and Woodville Halls, Gravesend.

Mr Beautridge added: "It is a phased migration. We will still have front counter facilities at Dartford and Gravesend Police stations until the move to this new station is completed.

"We will then have front counter facilities at Dartford Civic Centre and the Woodville Halls in Gravesend. There will be no reductions on our emphasis on town centre policing, we will make sure both Dartford and Gravesend are safe places to live and work."

The new station is designed to provide a better working environment for officers, with more parking, offices and conference rooms.

It includes a witness and victim interview suite, equipped with medical facilities.

An environmentally friendly heating and cooling underground geothermal system will help reduce energy consumption.

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