Wiltshire’s PCC Philip Wilkinson has asked the county’s Chief Constable to conduct an immediate review of operational police estate in Salisbury and the south of the county.
This announcement comes after the newly-elected Commissioner listened to concerns from the public while out campaigning and from senior leadership within Wiltshire Police within his first days of office.
Philip said: “On the doorstep, the message came through loud and clear to me: the operational police estate in Salisbury, and the south of the county, is an issue.
“It was also clear to me when I raised this with the Chief Constable, that senior leadership and officers weren’t happy either.
“I’ve listened to this and, as a result, I’ve asked the Chief Constable, and his leadership team, to conduct an immediate review of operational police estate in Salisbury and the south of the county.
“We have discussed how the review should look at the existing estate and whether the current police accommodation is fit-for-purpose for an agile police workforce in the 21st century.”
The review, which is expected to be completed in the near future, will look at how the police estate enables or impacts on policing in the area including whether Bourne Hill is the right solution.
Philip added: “Delivering an outstanding police force, trusted by our communities, needs the PCC and the Chief Constable to work closely together to achieve our shared aim.
“This review will recommend what we need to invest in so that both the Chief Constable and I, can ensure frontline staff have what they need to keep our communities safe and remain fit for modern-day policing.
“But it also means that Salisbury and its communities benefit from officers being able to operate effectively while enhancing the ability of the community policing teams in the south to be more visible and accessible to the public.
“We have pledged to invest in improving facilities and ensuring front-line staff have what they need to keep communities safe and operate effectively in the years to come.
“However, we do have to be mindful of the need to balance operational policing requirements with the financial resources that are available.”
The review, which will feed into the wider Estates’ strategy and also help to inform the PCC’s policing priorities in his Police and Crime Plan, will look at the existing police estate in that area alongside what frontline staff need to deliver effective, visible and accessible policing.
Philip said: “The review’s recommendations and outcome will, of course, inform my Police and Crime Plan and the operational policing priorities contained within.
“This will be happening later this year and will be open to consultation and feedback from everyone in the county.
“I have made no secret of the fact that I want to deliver progress and I do believe actions speak louder than words. The hard work has started.”
Chief Constable, Keir Pritchard also said: “The PCC has asked me for my professional advice about the issues facing us in the south of the county relating the operation police estate and I have provided that advice to him.
“This advice has aligned to the view and opinions that the PC has also heard from our communities over recent weeks. As such, he has asked me to conduct an immediate review of the operation estate requirements in that area.”
“I very much welcome the early and positive conversation with PCC on this matter. I, alongside side my leadership team, have listened carefully to the feedback I have received from our frontline teams over recent months, and I have sought to reassure them that I hear what they are saying.”
It is important we are able to provide the best, and safest, working environment for my officers, staff and volunteers so that we can future-proof our services and support our frontline teams in continuing to deliver the very best service they can o our communities.”