Police station time capsule unearthed in North Tyneside

Elected Mayor, Norma Redfearn, Supt Mick Paterson, and Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird
Elected Mayor, Norma Redfearn, Supt Mick Paterson, and Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird

A time capsule buried under a former police station has now been unearthed in North Tyneside.

The metal box was dug up by workers from Keir who demolished the former Wallsend Police Station on Alexandra Street, in the town. It was buried in 1988 when a new cell block was added on to the existing police station.

The capsule was found to contain photographs of officers in their 1980s uniforms and crime reports detailing the much higher crime rates of the time.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird said: “Time capsules are a great way to record significant moments and they bring back lots of memories when opened. In fact, we recently buried one to commemorate the opening of the new station at Forth Banks, for someone to uncover at a future date.

“The capsule provides a rare glimpse of life from more than 25 years ago. It contains photographs of the old style uniform and an annual report which shows us just how much crime has declined since the 1980s.

“Looking ahead, Northumbria Police and North Tyneside Council will continue working with partners to tackle the priorities that local people want to see addressed.

“Northumbria Police have a great policing neighbourhood team working hard for the community – no matter what the time, we will continue to do all we keep communities like Wallsend safe.”

Superintendent Mick Paterson, Northumbria Police said: “Northumbria Police works closely with the Police & Crime Commissioner to ensure the force continue to address the needs of the public. The demands of policing 25 years ago are different to today.

“It’s quite astonishing how many incidents of burglary and car crime police dealt with back then, compared with today Back in 1988 there were 1,052 house burglaries reported in Wallsend and Killingworth areas compared with 330 offences reported for the whole of North Tyneside from April 1, 2014 to April 1, 2015. Similarly there were 2,836 incidents of vehicle crime back in 1988 compared with 493 offences across the borough last year. People should feel much safer nowadays with far fewer offences reported to police.”

“There was clearly an enormous sense of pride from the officers back then which carries on today as we face different challenges in policing. Our teams continue that pride to protect local people.”

North Tyneside Elected Mayor, Norma Redfearn, said: “We were absolutely thrilled and very excited to hear about the discovery of a time capsule, which has provided a fascinating history into policing in Wallsend in the 1980s.

“Kier unearthed the capsule while working on our affordable housing project on the site, which will see 41 new homes created, as part of our wider plans to regenerate Wallsend, ensuring a successful and vibrant future for the town.”

Wallsend station closed in November 2010 and was replaced by the new station on Middle Engine Lane. The site, bought by North Tyneside Council, will see a new development of 41 homes, available for rent through North Tyneside Homes next year.