Do you remember those halcyon days when you were arrested and taken to your local police station after arrest to be interviewed? Do you remember being able to have a calming cigarette before the police interview or , even in certain stations, having piped music played to you to relax yourself and while away the hours waiting for the police to get around to interview you?

Sadly those days are for the most part over. The recently retired chief constable of the West Midlands thought it would be a good idea to do away with the local custody blocks and replace them with new SUPER BLOCKS!!!!!

Now if you are unfortunate enough to be arrested you are likely to be taken to a non descript warehouse style custody block in either Perry Barr ( which is actually in Holford Drive WITTON- near to the Villa ground/tesco in Aston!!!). Perhaps Perry Barr sounds better than Witton? If you are really unlucky you may be taken to the new block in Oldbury, which again is in the middle of an industrial estate, with less than good train/ bus links.

On arrival you will be met by your friendly custody officer who sits in a custody block of not 6-8 cells, but 50-60 cells!!!  There is now a team of custody officers working there, each responsible for a wing of 10-12 cells .

Getting back home from these super blocks after release from police detention is likely to be a challenge,especially if you are released late at night ,after the buses or trains stop or operate on a reduced service. Similarly, if you are bailed to return to the station in the future during a police investigation, getting back to answer your bail or to be reinterviewed at the super block in question may be a mission, especially if you live on the other side of Birmingham/Black country.

The only glimmer on the horizon is that if you are arrested in the Solihull area then you will be taken to the custody block at Solihull police station, unless it is full in which case you could be taken to Coventry central police station or the Perry Barr superblock!! I also believe Bourneville lane police station custody block remains open, at least at the moment!!