IT’S the end of an era this week for police in Sheffield.
The station at West Bar closes its doors for the last time tomorrow (Friday) after almost 50 years as an operational base for hundreds of officers.
Now officers and staff are relocating to the South Yorkshire force headquarters in Snig Hill, leaving a building that is due to be turned into a hotel and restaurant.
West Bar Police Station opened in the mid-1960s under the City of Sheffield Police Force, towering above other buildings in the area, and it quickly became established as a city centre landmark.
Former officers have many memories. There was the day a car crashed through the front door and, last year, the story emerged of how, in 1982, a man handed himself in with the European Cup he had stolen from celebrating Aston Villa players at a pub near Tamworth. Officers promptly staged their own European Cup final.
In recent years, the building has been increasingly seen as out of date. Sheffield District Commander, Chief Supt Simon Torr, said the latest move was part of “a long-term accommodation strategy aimed at improving resources and facilities.
“It is important for us to continually renew our infrastructure to facilitate developments in policing, enabling us to meet the needs of the public of South Yorkshire.
“Replacing the ageing West Bar building with improved facilities at HQ is a key part of this strategy and apart from the change in location it’s business as usual for the people of Sheffield.”
The public inquiry desk will continue to operate a 24-hour service from Snig Hill.
Plans were once drawn up to convert the seven-storey block for offices and apartments. Then a scheme was approved last year for a 150-bed hotel and a restaurant, although no operators have yet been revealed.