Paddington Green Police Station

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Coordinates: 51°31′13.5″N 0°10′17.25″W / 51.520417°N 0.1714583°W / 51.520417; -0.1714583

Paddington Green Police Station.jpg

Paddington Green Police Station was a Metropolitan Police Service station located in Paddington, central London, England, and closed in 2018.

History[edit]

Building work on the station was completed in 1971.

As well as providing local services, the station was used as an interrogation centre for prisoners suspected of terrorism. Underneath the station were sixteen cells located below ground level, which had a separate custody suite from the building's other cells.

High-profile terrorist suspects arrested across the UK were often taken to Paddington Green Police Station for interrogation, and holding until escorted to a court of law. Suspects who have been held there include members of the IRA, the British nationals released from Guantanamo Bay, and the 21 July 2005 London bombers.

On 10 October 1992, an IRA bomb exploded in a phone box outside the police station, injuring one person.[1][2]

Refurbishment[edit]

In 2007, a joint parliamentary human rights committee stated that the old and decrepit mid-1960s police station was "plainly inadequate" to hold such high-risk prisoners. Lord Carlile, the official reviewer of the government's terrorism laws, said the Metropolitan Police needed a new custody suite suitable for up to 30 terrorism suspects.[3] The old cells were 12-foot square, contained no windows and were reportedly too hot in the summer and too cold in winter.

Refurbishments were made in 2009 at a cost of £490,000.[4] In later years suspects had access to an audio-visual system on which they could watch films and listen to music whilst incarcerated. This system was added because it was deemed inhumane to keep people locked up for up to 28 days without any stimulation. The cells were lined with brown paper before suspects arrive so that any traces of explosives found on their bodies can be proven not to have been picked up from the cells.[4]

Closure[edit]

The station closed in late 2018.

In February 2020 the closed station was occupied by anarchist group the Green Anti-Capitalist Front, who said they intended to turn the space into a community centre. They discovered that the police station was being used for police firearms training, which had to be rescheduled.[5][6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Written Answers: Letter from A. J. Butler to Mr. Tom Cox". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). House of Commons. 4 March 1996. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
  2. ^ "London hit by seventh bomb". The Independent. 11 October 1992.
  3. ^ Travis, Alan (21 November 2007). "New anti-terror jail to replace Paddington Green Police station". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
  4. ^ a b Hughes, Mark (26 May 2009). "£490,000 to make Paddington Green habitable". The Independent. London. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
  5. ^ Barnett, Marcus (9 February 2020). "Anarchists take over abandoned police station". The Morning Star. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
  6. ^ Damien Gayle (18 February 2020). "Paddington Green: inside the anti-terror HQ taken over by climate anarchists". The Guardian.

External links[edit]