This weekend sees the start of a new era of policing in Birmingham with the opening of a brand new custom built police station.
Based within nearby police headquarters, Lloyd House, the new station replaces the 1930s building on Steelhouse Lane which will close its doors to the public for the final time this Sunday 15th January.
It is the first time in the force’s 42-year history that Lloyd House will be used – in part – as an operational police station where people can report crime, give statements, receive safety advice and more.
Head of the Birmingham West neighbourhood policing unit, Chief Superintendent Chris Johnson, said: “We are moving to a fantastic new base alongside the refurbished Lloyd House which has been specifically designed to cater for 21st century policing.
“As much as we all love the site on Steelhouse Lane, it’s almost 100 years old and struggling to cope with the demands of modern policing. The age of the building means it’s expensive to run, there’s lots of repairs, there is no level access for wheelchair users or people with prams, the public space is incredibly small with nowhere to expand into… the list goes on.
“This is all about providing the best service possible to people. While we are all quite sentimental about the place, as a building it doesn’t provide value for money or the facilities modern police teams need, nor the public deserve!
“With the two new large custody suites in Perry Barr and Oldbury, there is no need for central cells which pre-date the adjoining police station.
“Our new home on Snow Hill Queensway is open 24 hours a day and is light, bright and welcoming.”
Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson, commented: “The officers and staff who have worked out of Steelhouse Lane over the years have given great service to the people of Birmingham and the West Midlands. I pay tribute to them.”
The Steelhouse Lane site has been part of West Midlands Police for the last 125 years. The original ‘lock up’ was opened in 1892 and occupied by what was then known as Birmingham City Police. This consisted of a Victorian-era custody block which is now a Grade II listed building. Up until its operational closure last year it was one of the oldest custody facilities in operation in the country.
Some of the country’s most dangerous and notorious criminals have been detained there, including serial killer Fred West and the original ‘Peaky Blinders’.
The large neo-Georgian style police station next to the custody block was opened in 1933 and since then has always been home to the officers responsible for policing Birmingham city centre and nearby areas.