A new building was required to replace the existing North Tyneside Area Command, and the Wallsend Sector Station. This is First new police station built for Northumbria Police in 10 years. The brief put community policing at the heart of the design in order to meet the needs of a 21st century police force, keep abreast of changes and deliver the ‘Total Policing' concept.
The building supports the operational officers, as well as delivering quality services to the public by endorsing the principles of the ‘Citizen Focus' agenda. Whilst avoiding a ‘fortress' appearance and mentality, the building and its surroundings are intrinsically secure from without and within.
Stretching over three floors, the design is dominated by a glazed concourse that allows natural light into the heart of the building, making it a welcoming space for the public and the officers and staff based there. The largely open plan office accommodation has been designed to meet the needs of a modern police force but is flexible and can be adapted to meet any future requirements. The custody suite of 40 cells is one of the most innovative in the country. From the operational hub, sight lines are maximised to ensure custody safety and security in all areas.
Acoustic privacy is vital, for example interview rooms allow speech to be clearly transmitted without being overheard. The new headquarters incorporates many innovative features including precast concrete panel construction to custody facilities to enhance speed of building but also to provide a high quality and durable finish to all areas of the building; and an in-situ reinforced concrete frame to provide longevity and robustness and enhance long term adaptability and flexibility.
As an important public and civic facility, the new headquarters has been designed to be fully inclusive and accessible. It is open 24 hours a day, with onsite parking for visitors and public transport links.