Watford’s new police station on George Street is officially home to teams of cops.
The station, which is located just a stone’s throw from the town centre, replaces the old police station on Shady Lane, which was earmarked for re-development.
The new station was acquired by Hertfordshire’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 new police station on George Street has been occupied by the following departments of Hertfordshire Constabulary:
- The CSP’s intervention teams were the first to move in Monday (27 November).
- Safer Neighbourhood Team
- Community Safety Unit
- Local Crime Unit
- Operation Scorpion
- Operational Support Group
The relocation comes after 83 years of service at the old Shady Lane station, which was initially opened in autumn 1940 during the Second World War. The old station and adjacent courthouse will be demolished to make way for new housing which is expected to begin sometime in spring next year.
Watford Chief Inspector Andy Wiseman – 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.”
David Lloyd, Hertfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “The old station had reached the end of its economic life and was no longer fit for purpose for the demands of officers and staff. It was vital for public confidence and visibility of the police that they remained based in the town centre. This has been achieved and Watford now has a new thoroughly modern police station which will enable a top- quality service to be provided to the public for years to come.”
Work is ongoing to finalise the exterior of the new station on George Street, and an official opening ceremony is set to take place early next year.