A construction company will be forced to hand over more than £1 million to West Midlands Police because of huge delays in the building of two flagship custody blocks.
Willmott Dixon was given the £20 million contract by the force to build a central custody block in Perry Barr and a western cell block in Oldbury.
But a number of delays in the project have already seen the firm hit with huge financial penalties for every week the scheme is delayed.
The 60-cell facility in Oldbury should have opened in June and the suite in Holford Drive, Perry Barr, was due to open in November.
But it has now emerged the Oldbury block will be handed over to police on February 15 and the Perry Barr block on March 21.
The force then has to complete the facilities before the cell blocks can become operational.
As of January 24, the firm has paid out more than £950,000 but, because of the extra delays, the penalties are now likely to exceed £1 million.
Chief Constable Dave Thompson said there had been repeated delays, adding the penalties would offset some of the extra costs the force had had to incur.
"These will be state of the art. But what we really want is the custody blocks not the cash," he said.
The chief constable said the same contractors were working on the £33 million refurbishment of the force's city centre headquarters at Lloyd House in Birmingham's Colmore Business District.
Once the project is completed, the landmark Grade II-listed building in Steelhouse Lane will be sold, along with stations in Queens Road, Aston, and Belgrave Middleway, in Edgbaston.
Back office staff from Lloyd House will eventually move into the newly refurbished HQ, with staff asked to hot desk and work at open plan workstations.
The scheme will also see the opening of a new police station at the bottom of Lloyd House - the first in the central area for decades.
Chief Constable Thompson added: "Lloyd House is on target but our confidence has been dented in Willmott Dixon. There would be big challenges for the force if the deadline was missed."
The first staff are due to move back into Lloyd House in September.
In November, when the delays were last discussed, director of resources for the force David Wilkin said: "Both custody suites have been subjected to numerous delays and we now find ourselves in an incredibly unsatisfactory position."
A spokesman for Willmott Dixon said: "The delays relating to the custody suites are unacceptable to Willmott Dixon and also absolutely exceptional as the company has a long track-record of successfully delivering large projects across the West Midlands.
"The company is working tirelessly to ensure both custody suites are handed over to the full satisfaction of West Midlands Police."