POLICE have been left red in the face after their new cell block was burgled twice in the space of three days.

The thieves, who avoided detection on both occasions, stole copper piping from the building on August 18 and 21.

The £12.5million custody suite is under construction alongside Gloucestershire Police headquarters at Waterwells, in Quedgeley, near Gloucester.

A Gloucestershire police spokesperson said: "We can confirm that a very small quantity of copper was stolen in two incidents between August 15 and 16 and August 19 and 20 from the new police custody block which is still being built at Waterwells.

"The building is still in the hands of the contractor and not yet handed over to Gloucestershire Police. At no point was any sensitive information at risk since the building is still not in use and contains no police information of any kind.

"The cost of the loss will be borne by the contractor and the project has not been delayed at all.”

Police are working with the contractor to investigate both of the incidents and are appealing to the public for assistance.

Anybody with information about these incidents is asked to phone 101 and give the Crime Number 19094/14.

The new cell block facility will replace ageing and outdated cells at Gloucester and Cheltenham police stations.