police STATION cells closed

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HAWICK’S police cells are to be closed throughout the Common-Riding.

And law-breakers are to be transported to Galashiels, Dalkeith or St Leonards Police Station in Edinburgh.

But according to a spokesperson the move will only have a “minor impact” on resources.

The cells were shut this week for refurbishment and repairs and are to remain that way for the next four weeks as work is carried out on the fixed beds, window sills, toilets and cell doors.

“Lothian and Borders Police can confirm that the custody suites at Hawick Police Station are currently undergoing essential repair and refurbishment work,” said a police spokesperson

“During this time, alternative facilities within the Scottish Borders and Midlothian have been identified to accommodate any detentions.”

There are currently ten police cells and a detention room at the Wilton Hill station. Although the custody process area will still be operational, prisoners will be taken elsewhere.

For anyone detained in custody for court, the first holding cells utilised will be at Galashiels. The cells at Dalkeith will be used after that and cells in St Leonards Police Station can be used if they are full.

Cells are still available at Jedburgh, Duns, Peebles and Kelso for people who are not being detained for court.

There is a requirement for officers to travel with prisoners who are to be held in custody. However, the spokesperson stressed that the closure would not impact on their response over the Common-Riding period and beyond.

He said: “The Common-Riding season is always a special occasion within the Borders and police and partner agencies are working closely to ensure our communities can enjoy the celebrations in a safe and secure environment.

“While an appropriate policing response will be in place, the events have not historically had a significant impact on our custody suites.

“However, the public can rest assured that a sufficient number of cells will be available for prisoners who require to be held in custody.”