Investment to improve Wiltshire Police buildings and services revealed
Plans to invest more than £100M into Wiltshire Police estate – including the modernisation and redevelopment of police headquarters in Devizes and the delivery of a Southern Policing Hub - over the next 10 years have been announced today (29 Jan).
Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Wilkinson joined with Wiltshire Police Chief Constable Catherine Roper to launch their Estates Strategy 2023-27 at the newly-finished Tidworth Police Station this morning.
The new strategy provides residents with a comprehensive vision for how well-placed police stations, hubs and touchdown points provide the right facilities for Wiltshire Police to work smarter, adapt to changing crime demand and, more importantly, provide greater visibility and reassurance in communities.
Main highlights include the planned investment of more than £100m over the next ten years which includes:
£90M investment to deliver the redevelopment of the Police Headquarters site in Devizes over the next decade, including the relocating of Devizes policing hub to the existing headquarters site, and to develop a new operational policing site, training facilities, and administrative office space.
£19M investment to deliver a new dedicated Policing hub in South of the County by 2028 - the PCC and CC have identified that the current arrangements for policing estate in the south are not meeting operational need. We continue to progress our location options, on with Old Sarum and High Post being our two most developed plans at present.
This commitment to investment in facilities from the Police and Crime Commissioner is specifically designed to support the changes to the new operating model recently implemented by Chief Constable Roper to improve local policing services by providing a more consistent policing approach alongside increased proactive and visible policing within communities.
Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Wilkinson said: “Delivering a police service which meets the needs of its communities has never been more important – or challenging. I know residents want greater public engagement with officers, more public access and an increased officer presence at community level.
“All of this is underpinned by the importance of investment in police ‘estate’ to support the delivery of a policing service I know our residents want - and deserve.
“To fail to invest in our police estate would increasingly become detrimental to the policing serviced received in our communities and to maintain old, legacy, buildings at huge cost would not be a justifiable use of public money.
“My newly-launched Estates Strategy sets out this vision. I believe Wiltshire Police will be better equipped to provide the policing service our communities want if they have the infrastructure which supports them to respond more effectively and efficiently.”
Modernisation, rationalisation and redevelopment of Wiltshire Police estate began nine years ago to ensure the locations and facilities of stations, hubs and touchdowns – informed by operational policing requirements and demand - provided what officers and staff need to work effectively and keep our communities safe.
The latest Estate Strategy now looks at several policing hubs or key sites which require extensive renovation or refurbishment and details the significant investment which will be made to ensure Wiltshire Police estate actively contributes to Making Wiltshire Safer by improving the service the public receives and give Wiltshire Police the right tools and facilities to do their job well.
Mr Wilkinson added that significant investment is needed now to continue to support the Chief Constable’s policing requirements and to support and deliver his police and crime plan.
Wiltshire Chief Constable Catherine Roper said: "The importance of a fully-functioning estate for my officers and staff cannot be underestimated. I believe well-placed and equipped police sites provide the base for my teams to work smarter, adapt to changing crime demand and more importantly, provide greater presence to our communities.
"I believe this strategy will enable my officers and staff to demonstrate our commitment to having a physical presence in our communities. These plans will enable us to be a modern and visible organisation who support our communities and workforce and deliver on our commitment to ‘Keeping Wiltshire Safe’."
Mr Wilkinson pledged to involve the community as more detailed information about the redevelopment of the Wilshire Police Headquarters site, in Devizes, and the Southern Policing Hub become available.
“We will be actively engaging with our communities about the detail of our plans as soon as we are able to do so. As always, our communities will be encouraged to use their voice on the policing service – and how that is delivered, and we will take note” he added.