THE COUNTY’s police and crime commissioner has described the purchase of new offices for investigators at £1.5 million as a bargain.

Gloucestershire PCC Martin Surl has overseen the purchase of a three-storey property in Davy Way, Gloucester, which was previously occupied by photographic film firm Kodak amongst others.

The deal means a previous proposal to build on a 2.8 acre site currently owned by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) to a lower specification at a cost of £4million can now be scrapped.

Mr Surl was pleased with the £2.5million savings and said it was good for a number of reasons.

“As well as saving a large amount of public money, the land previously marked for development can now be sold or used for something else," he said.

"along with similar savings we’ve made on the new custody suite, it is another example of the sound financial management the OPCC has brought to the organisation and my determination to provide value for money.

“Compared to the old police authority with its less streamlined committee system, we were in a position to act decisively.

"Once the opportunity arose, we were able to close the deal quickly and, in the process, drive down the asking price.”

Gloucestershire Constabulary is proposing to make the building its new base for CID, financial investigators, domestic and child abuse investigative teams, scenes of crime officers, high tech crime, public protection bureau and a multi-agency safeguarding hub.

The purchase of Davy Way will advance the long-awaited relocation programme from Lansdown Road in Cheltenham by at least 18 months.

Head of specialist crime operations detective chief super intendant Bernie Kinsella said a move from Cheltenham had been on the cards for a long time.

"This is a practical solution that is also cost effective," he said.

“Although the details have still to be worked out we can now plan ahead with more certainty."