Calne Leisure Centre and Pewsey The Vale Community Campus open their doors to Wiltshire Police
From today, Wiltshire Police officers and staff will be using Calne Leisure Centre and Pewsey The Vale Community Campus as local touchdown points whilst patrolling the local areas.
Calne and Pewsey Police Stations were not open to the public and they no longer met the operational needs of the Force and will therefore close. The new touchdown points, just minutes away from the existing stations, will make officers and staff more accessible to the public.
These new surroundings offer a space to hold meetings, and take a break using the kitchen and toilet facilities in the heart of our communities. These changes are the latest phase of the Police and Crime Commissioners 2017-2021 Estate Strategy, in which he aims to reduce the cost of the Wiltshire Police estate by 20 per cent by 2021.
Inspector James Brain of Wiltshire North Community Policing Team said: "Calne Police officers will continue to start and finish their shifts at Chippenham to be briefed but the modern, bright public space at Calne Leisure Centre, particularly once the refurbishment is complete, will provide a touchdown point to work and interact with the public."
Inspector Chris Martin of Wiltshire East Community Policing Team said: "Modern policing embraces technology meaning officers no longer need to return to a police station to carry out paperwork. Our officers and PCSOs can now work out in public spaces like these new touchdown points, or even a coffee shop, remaining visible and accessible to our community and still able to respond quickly when needed, which is always the priority."
Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson, said: "Changes to our police estate are essential to ensuring it remains fit for purpose and meets operational policing needs.
"This said, it is still really important to ensure we also retain a presence in our communities. I have always been very clear I will not shut a police station until a suitable alternative has been identified.
"While I understand the negative perception that the closure of a police building means less access to police officers and PCSOs, the reality is very different.
"Visible officers out in the community, with the ability to respond quickly when needed is what keeps people safe, not buildings. Every pound we save on running our estate is a pound I will not have to save from policing.
"We already successfully co-locate with partners at numerous locations around the county including Monkton Park in Chippenham and at Corsham Springfield Campus. Updates to our estates like this enable officers to remain visible and accessible to the communities they serve whilst also saving money.
"We are also in discussion with Calne Town Council who have kindly offered space in the Town Hall as an additional touchdown point for officers to the Leisure Centre."