Police in Barnstaple are moving in to a new station in the town.
The new Barnstaple Police Station is now open at Seven Brethren, with an enquiry office open from Monday to Friday from 9am until 1.15pm and 2pm until 5pm.
The former Barum Auto Parts building will accommodate most officers and staff from the former base in North Walk, with teams moving in to the new premises over the next couple of weeks. Some support staff have already relocated to Roundswell.
The custody centre will remain at the North Walk site until later this year due to the specialist work required to bring such a facility to the new station.
The move comes nearly seven months after it was announced police would be moving out of the North Walk station due to a deteriorating roof.
Planning permission for the new station was granted by North Devon Council in June.
North Devon commander, Superintendent Toby Davies, said: “Despite the time pressures I am really pleased with what has been achieved with the new main Barnstaple Police Station. It is visible and accessible to the town and surrounding areas.
“We have been at the North Walk station for many years, so understandably it will take a little bit of time for everyone to get used to the new site – but from the perspective of a local resident you should not notice any difference with regards our policing service and we will continue to work hard in keeping this one of the safest areas in the country.”
The new station is intended as a temporary facility while the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) and Devon and Cornwall Police explore options for a new operating base for North Devon.
The new site is expected to be suitable for three to five years, giving time for the OPCC to investigate the possibility of building a new, bespoke station serving North Devon.
Alison Hernandez, PCC for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, said: “I’m delighted to see this new police station open to the public.
“It is a fantastic facility that will provide a 21st Century working environment for our officers, staff and volunteers in North Devon – as well as offering a more modern enquiry office for members of the public.
“I’m particularly pleased to see the great teamwork to get the new station open so quickly after structural problems were identified with the former station at North Walk earlier this year.
“The speed at which we have been able to identify a new premises, secure planning permission, fit-out the building and move staff across is testament to the hard work of everyone involved.
“This £2m investment will ensure that residents have the policing resources they require to keep North Devon one of the safest places to live in the country.”