PCC announces new touchdown point at Pewsey The Vale Community Campus
As part of the latest phase of my Estate Strategy 2017-2021, on 6 January 2020 Pewsey police station will close and officers and staff will start using The Vale Community Campus in Pewsey as a touchdown point.
Touchdown points are public and visible areas where officers and staff can work and interact with the public, with welfare provision (some including interview facilities). The Vale Community Campus is just three minutes from the old Pewsey Police Station and is centrally located. It will provide officers and staff with access to toilet and kitchen facilities as well as access to rest areas, and a meeting space for carrying out work and interacting with the public.
Inspector Peter Foster, of the Wiltshire East Community Policing Team, said: "Thanks to a major investment in mobile technology by the Police and Crime Commissioner our officers no longer need to return to a police station to do paper work. They can now do that, and more, whilst out and about in our communities.
"Our officers and staff are briefed at Devizes Police Station at the start of their shifts, and this will remain the case but having access to a public facility in the heart of our community means that our officers and staff can drop in for a refreshment break whilst on their patrols and still be available to engage with members of the public.
"If a member of the public wants to contact Wiltshire Police they should continue to call 101, or 999 in an emergency.
"But if they are using the campus and happen to see one of our officers or staff then they can, of course, raise any issues or concerns with them."
In drawing up my estates strategy, I asked the Chief Constable what his operational policing needs were. Pewsey Police Station, on Market Place, was regarded as no longer meeting the operational needs of the Force.
Mr Macpherson said: "When making changes to our police estate to ensure it is fit for purpose and meets operational policing needs, it is important that we also retain a presence in our communities. I have always been very clear that I will not shut a police station until a suitable alternative has been arranged. This ensures a continuity in the service we provide to the public whilst also moving with the times.
I am seeking to reduce the cost of the Wiltshire Police estate by 20 per cent by 2021. Every pound we save on running our estate is a pound I will not have to save from policing.
"Whilst I understand there might be a perception that the closure of a police building means that local people will have less access to police officers and PCSOs, the reality is very different.
"Visible officers out in the community and with the ability to respond quickly when needed is what keeps people safe, not buildings.
"Using co-located facilities with our partners in the local authority is not a new concept, we have done so for a number of years now. Our officers and staff using the community campus facilities as a touchdown point will help to ensure that they remain visible and accessible within their communities."
Once Wiltshire Police officers and staff are using the Community Campus, the building on Market Place will be closed and secured ahead of disposal of the site.