By the end of September, new police centres in Bridgwater, Keynsham and Patchway will be open. Custody training is already underway and staff will start moving in to the new buildings in the coming weeks.
The opening of the new centres marks the end of our programme to centralise our custody service and provide larger, more flexible spaces for our staff. They will increase our capacity in custody by 27% and enable us to improve our custody processes so more police officers can be back on the street on patrol where we need them, detecting crime and protecting communities. The new buildings will also support our new Operating Model by providing spaces that can adapt to the changes we face.
Enquiry offices, open to the public, will be housed at Patchway and Bridgwater and will be open 8am – 8pm, 7 days a week. They will provide a much more welcoming space for members of public and visitors.
At Keynsham Police Centre there will not be an enquiry office but a new Keynsham enquiry office and local policing base will be co-located with BaNES council in the Town Hall. The enquiry office will open in the autumn and the neighbourhood team will move in spring 2015.
Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: “The opening of these new modern police centres marks the end of a long journey to transform the police estate and make it fit for a new generation of policing. Many police stations are outdated, inefficient and under-utilised. These new buildings are not only greener, more sustainable and more cost efficient, they are also flexible enough to meet the future demands that Avon and Somerset Constabulary will face over the coming years.
“I am delighted that throughout this development we have been able to offer apprenticeships, opportunities for ex-offenders and school visits. There have also been many local economic benefits with 77% of subcontractors based within 35 miles of each of the sites, or within the Avon and Somerset area. I would like to thank the project team, our contractors, our staff and the cooperation of our neighbours for making these new police centres possible.”
Acting Chief Constable John Long said: “The new police centres enable us to respond to the needs of modern policing. Replacing small, inefficient buildings with larger centres where we can centralise custody and locate our teams together, helps us to work in a new and more efficient way. These police centres will assist us as we continue to face financial pressures.
“It also increases the potential for integrated working by co-locating with our partners, as we have already started in Weston-super-Mare, Mendip and Keynsham.”
Posted on Tuesday 5th August 2014