Security at Grimsby Police Station has been enhanced after several recent incidents of criminal damage to police cars, thought to be caused by vandals gaining unauthorised entry to the rear of the station.
Humberside Police have now installed perimeter fencing to the northeast of the station, a point described by officers and staff as the building’s ‘weak link’, and will seek planning permission from the local authorities retrospectively.
The move follows two separate incidents brought about by juveniles accessing the rear yard.
On the first occasion, a young person was arrested, charged and convicted of breaking in and damaging two police cars. In contrast, a second incident was averted through the actions of a police officer, who dealt out some stern advice and decided not to apprehend the intruder.
Despite these two cases, Humberside Police have stressed that none of the building’s occupants were threatened in any way, which will come as a relief to many after relatively recent attacks on police in other corners of the globe, including the shooting of a police accountant in Sydney by a 15-year-old boy earlier this month.
The force told the Grimsby Telegraph: “The numbers of incidents of this nature are minimal both for Grimsby and other areas of the force. The incidents did not compromise the safety of the approximately 160 staff who are based there.”
Before installing the new security fencing, the northeast boundary wall of the station was the only section of the Victoria Street building’s perimeter that did not deter trespassers with some form of high wall or fencing.
The force went on to say: “In the opinion of Humberside Police, it is important that these crime prevention measures are implemented to prevent further attacks of vandalism and ensure the longevity of the building.”
However, North East Lincolnshire Council has yet to decide on planning permission. Its Planning Design and Policy Statement called for ‘sufficient evidence’ about the reasons for installation to be brought forward.
The Statement also cited the station’s status as a listed building and the need to protect it.
However, it is likely permission will be granted, and the station’s refurbishment could be completed as early as the end of the year.