New touchdown points launch in community libraries
From today, Wiltshire Police officers and staff will start using Malmesbury, Wilton, Downton and Westbury libraries as touchdown points whilst out patrolling their local communities.
The operational needs of the Force were reviewed under the Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon's 2017-2021 Estate Strategy and Malmesbury, Wilton, Alderbury and Westbury police stations were identified as no longer fit for purpose and as such will close.
The local Community Policing Teams will continue to be briefed and work out of their relevant police stations at Bourne Hill in Salisbury and Warminster. Malmesbury will remain open until such time as the Royal Wootton Bassett station refurbishments have been completed in a few weeks, then staff will return to being based from there.
Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson said: "We are dedicated on making policing more visible and accessible in our communities and these new touchdown points with help deliver that aim.
"The libraries are a hub for local people of all ages and from all walks of life, with a variety of activities and events on offer. It's important for our officers to be available in locations such as these.
"Using shared locations makes better use of public money and allows me to continue to invest in technology so officers can work from anywhere. These police stations are out-dated, frequently unmanned and not open to the public. Whilst I understand there might be a perception so, closing them will have no impact to the service our public receive."
Inspector Gill Hughes, from the Warminster Area Community Policing Team, commented: "In addition to our existing shared locations with partners, these new library touchdown points will mean officers and PSCOs can physically work in buildings which are in the heart of the communities we serve.
"They allow officers and PSCOs to take a break whilst on patrol using the kitchen and toilet facilities. They also offer a quiet space to work, have a discussion or deal with something confidential in a private space if required."
Royal Wootton Bassett Area CPT Inspector Doug Downing added: "Under our Community Policing model, officers and staff no longer need to return to a police station to do paperwork. They can now do that and more, whilst out and about using mobile technology, yet still be able to respond quickly to an emergency if required.
"If you see our officers at the new touchdown points, you are welcome to approach them to discuss local issues or ask any questions, we're there to serve and help protect our community."