POLICE chiefs hope to review a contract which pays a private company millions of pounds for unused custody cells.

The Chichester custody suite was built in 2001, but was closed in November last year.

It was the most unused centre across the county.

A Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contract means that millions of pounds are paid to a contractor to manage the Kinghsam Road site, along with two other custody centres in the county.

The deal was agreed in 2001 and is worth more than £11 million per year for 30 years.

But while police cells at two custody centres remain open, the Chichester centre is not being used.

The money for the management comes from a Home Office grant.

Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne has said keeping up payments for unused police cells is a huge liability for taxpayers”.

But she says she hopes to review the contract, with chief finance officer Ian McCulloch looking at alternatives.

Previously Chief Constable Giles York said: “The decisions we have made are driven by a need to make the best use of our resources and will lead to dedicated resources at custody centres and a better service to officers, staff, detainees and visitors.”

The Chichester centre was the least used within Sussex. Police chiefs instead chose to reopen the Hastings centre, which was closed for nearly two years. The Hastings centre reopened in August.