Today, 26 May 2023, Heddlu Dyfed-Powys Police will open its new Carmarthenshire Custody Suite and Policing base in Dafen, Llanelli.
Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn and Chief Constable Dr Richard Lewis will open the building in the company of local community representatives in Llanelli who will be given an opportunity to walk around the new modern, sustainable development, which has taken over 18 months to construct.
Planning permission was granted to the Dyfed-Powys Office of Police and Crime Commissioner by Carmarthenshire County Council back in April 2021 for the £18.6 million development, which Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn describes as a significant investment that has delivered a fit for purpose, modern facility for Dyfed-Powys Police.
As well as housing a new custody suite with 18 cells, some specialist departments and facilities will be based at the new policing hub as well as local response officers. PCC Dafydd Llywelyn confirmed that the Neighbourhood Policing Team will continue to work out of their base at Llanelli town centre.
Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn said: “It is a privilege for me to be here today opening this brand-new facility and to finally see what was originally considered to be an ambitious vision, now becoming a reality.
“This has been a significant investment for us which has provided us with a modern, sustainable fit for purpose policing hub and custody suite that will meet the needs and expectations of modern policing.
“During the planning application process between 2020 and 2021, we engaged widely with the local community, and It is a pleasure to invite community representatives here today to mark this occasion.
“I’ve worked extremely hard with partners for several years to ensure that we get to this position and I would like to thank everyone who has worked with us during its development”.
The construction has been given a BREEAM excellence rating, for its sustainable credentials which include a photovoltaic solar power installation to minimise the carbon footprint of the building; a rainwater harvesting facility for toilets and non-potable water, and electric car charging facilities.
PCC Llywelyn added: “We are going to have to make difficult decisions over the coming years about the future of some of our estates within Dyfed-Powys Police.
“The current Llanelli Police Station has served the town and surrounding area well for decades but does not reflect the high standard and working environment required by a police force in the 21st Century.
“This new policing base is part of our commitment to work with key partners to deliver long-term sustainable improvements to our estates and ensure that Dyfed-Powys Police retains a visible and accessible presence in the heart of the communities it serves.
Dyfed-Powys Police Chief Constable, Dr. Richard Lewis said, “We are delighted to have this state of the art policing hub and custody suite opening in Llanelli. The building was designed and built for the future with the wellbeing of our staff and the community in mind.
“It is an energy efficient and sustainable construction, and will become a base for a number of Policing functions across Llanelli and Carmarthenshire, complementing the Neighbourhood Policing Team that will remain at the town centre.
“I am grateful to PCC Mr Dafydd Llywelyn and the project team as a whole for delivering the facility, which will serve local communities for years to come.”
Chief Inspector Richard Hopkin, Dyfed-Powys Police’s operational lead on the new build said: “Our new Policing Base in Dafen will allow a number of specialist departments and facilities to be co-located under one roof at Llanelli which will ensure less travelling to various sites which will lend itself to a more efficient and effective operating model.
“The custody suite is also a state of the art facility which will significantly raise the standard of care being provided to detainees at the suite which includes a dedicated vulnerability wing which will ensure the safeguarding of the most vulnerable detainees that are housed at the facility.”