Watford town’s new police station opened to the general public today (December 4).
The Community Safety Partnership’s intervention teams were the first to move into their new home on George Street – just a stone’s throw from the town centre – on Monday, November 27, closely followed by their colleagues in the Safer Neighbourhood Team, Community Safety Unit, the Local Crime Unit, Operation Scorpion and the Operational Support Group.
The building was acquired by the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd in late 2021 and has since been fully refurbished to meet the demands of modern-day policing. Importantly for the public, it retains a front counter service.
The relocation comes after the former police station on Shady Lane was earmarked for a housing development, construction of which is expected to begin in spring next year.
The old station and adjacent courthouse – which cost £70,000 to build – initially opened in autumn 1940 during the Second World War, replacing the old Victorian police station on King Street. But after 83 years serving as a base for the town’s police officers, the time has come to say goodbye and start a new chapter.
Watford Chief Inspector Andy Wiseman, who is also secretary for the Hertfordshire Constabulary Historical Society, said: “I know many serving and retired officers and staff will hold fond memories of our time at Shady Lane, but in recent years, it became apparent that the building no longer provided value for money.
“The new site will be more economical to run, providing approximately 170 colleagues with a bright, airy and pleasant environment to work in and facilities that are in keeping with our hard-working team’s requirements. The town centre location will also ensure that we continue to provide the same level of service to Watford’s residents, businesses and visitors.
“I’m very pleased that we were able to take up residence at George Street in time for Christmas and I’m sure it won’t be long before it feels like home. We do plan to preserve a few pieces of Shady Lane’s history in the form of a witness box from the old courthouse, as well as an art-deco light fitting and clock from one of the court rooms. We’re hoping to install these in the top-floor conference room at George Street at a later date.”
Photo credit: Herts Police