A new £11 million police station has been opened in Co Down.
The facility at Downpatrick took more than two years to complete and is “long overdue”, according to local elected representatives.
Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) Superintendent District Commander Simon Walls said: “The previous station at Irish Street served the PSNI and the RUC admirably for many years through some very troubled times.
“Due to its age and design it required continual expensive maintenance work so it could remain as an operational base for officers. However, the cramped facilities there fall short of what is needed for policing in the 21st century.”
The new station is on the site of the old Downshire Hospital at Ardglass Road.
As well as a local policing team, it will accommodate detectives from the organised crime unit and administrative staff.
Mickey Larkin, chair of Newry Mourne and Down District Policing and Community Safety Partnership, said: “The PCSP welcomes the delivery of this long overdue project for the people of Downpatrick and surrounding area coinciding as it does with recent changes in policing structures. It provides a strong statement of support for the policing needs of the community.”