AFTER three years of hard work, the R53 million revamp of Port Elizabeth’s Bethelsdorp Police Station has been completed, heralding a new era in user-friendly, community-oriented crime control for residents.In a bid to provide a more compassionate, public-oriented service, the new facility now not only features a mandatory charge office and holding cells but also offers a far greater element of privacy to victims of crime.Bethelsdorp station commander Brigadier Zolani Xawuka said the revamp allowed the police station to operate far more effectively and efficiently.The revamped police station is inclusive of a more user-friendly charge office with a dedicated area for the public to make statements, get documents certified and make general enquiries. The new cells will also enable the station to reduce overcrowding. “We feel the SAPS deserves credit for their visionary role in this project,” said Greta Teltschik, an architect with SVA International, the firm tasked with making the vision a reality. The firm officially handed over the station earlier this month.“For me, the biggest achievement was the establishment of an autonomous centre which serves the sole purpose of helping victims of crime,” she said. “Victims were (previously) forced to wait in a single room, regardless of the crime committed against them – or their age.” Part of this new wing is dedicated to children, who now have a colourful waiting room to play in while waiting for assistance.Colonel Dawie Scholtz, who has been stationed in Bethelsdorp for 15 years, commended SVA International for their role in converting the police’s vision into reality.“The desperately needed revamp has seen a complete turnaround for everyone involved,” said Scholtz.