The Princess Royal has congratulated Northamptonshire Police on the opening of the force’s “clever” new cell block as part of a visit to the Criminal Justice Centre today.
Princess Anne visited the new police facility in Brackmills today, where she took an hour-long tour of the cells and talked to custody staff and CID detectives.
She took a close interest in the state-of-the-art facilities in the new building, including a new CCTV system to monitor detainees and a new intoximeter.
The Princess then unveiled a plaque inside the building’s reception area to commemorate her visit.
Speaking before she left, she said she believed the building would “set its own standards”.
Her Royal Highness said: “I think it is clever of you to get a building that looks as attractive as this and is workmanlike, so congratulations on that.
“I hope you feel it will fulfil all of your ambitions and I know a lot of other people will be looking at it with interest.”
Earlier, dozens of school children and civic dignitaries visited Brixworth Country Park to watch Princess Anne unveiled a monument to Northamptonshire’s firefighters.
The monument was commissioned by the fire service to commemorate and honour Northamptonshire’s firefighters and to provide a quiet place for reflection for people who have been affected by fire in any way.
The 9ft tall granite monument was unveiled by the Princess, who was said to be ‘very impressed’ with the modern structure.
The county’s chief fire officer, Martyn Emberson, showed the Princess the monument after it had been unveiled and explained why it had been built.
He said: “The Princess thought the memorial was fantastic. She liked the blend of old and new in the design and was very interested in why it had been made.”
The monument does not carry the names of any of the county’s firefighters as very few have died on active service since World War Two.
Its inscription does include pictures of two firefighters, one in a uniform from 1948 and one in modern dress.
Mr Emberson said: “I think the firefighters really appreciate it. It’s a token of respect from the community to the firefighters for the work they do.
“It’s a symbol of the respect the community has for the fire service and we’re very grateful for that.”
After the Princess, who is a patron of the Firefighters’ Memorial Trust, unveiled the monument she was presented with flowers by 10-year-old George Kimbell from Brixworth Primary School and nine-year-old Phoebe Chambers from Walgrave Primary School.
The moment was particularly poignant for George, whose firefighter father, Adrian, died eight years ago.
He said: “It was amazing to meet the Princess and I think having the memorial is a very nice thing to do.”
During a lengthy visit to the county she will also open a new tyre warehouse in Daventry.