Wiltshire Police

Southern Policing Hub Takes A Further Step Forward


Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Wilkinson’s commitment to a Southern Policing hub has taken a step forward with progress being made against a land purchase agreement.

An agreement to buy six acres of land at Old Sarum, near Salisbury, is being worked upon – with steps to bring forward a planning application to deliver a dedicated Policing Hub on this site also now in progress.

PCC Philip Wilkinson said the step forward is great news but until planning permission is agreed with Wiltshire Council he is not celebrating and will continue with all viable options available to him.

He added this advance at Old Sarum will happen in parallel with the Commissioner’s commitment to support a planning application at High Post, between Salisbury and Amesbury, by local developers Hibberd Development, with six acres re-allocated for the new policing hub on an industrial park development site.

The project team will now continue with two options at Old Sarum and High Post with the aim of delivering the Commissioner’s Estate Strategy 2023-2027 which will enable Wiltshire Police's commitment to serve all of the county with a quality, effective, frontline policing service.

Mr Wilkinson said: “The Chief Constable and I have been really clear investment in our ageing properties and identifying new locations for policing hubs will ensure Wiltshire Police has the right infrastructure to delivering the most effective policing service for all of the county.

“With the right locations – and that includes policing points in the Salisbury City Centre - Wiltshire Police will be able to provide what our communities want and deserve - a more consistent policing approach alongside increased proactive, and visible, policing in their neighbourhoods.

“Chief Constable Roper is delivering on her commitment by implementing a new operating model, which is delivering for our communities, and I am delighted we are now beginning to see the start of the delivery of the right locations and infrastructure to complement the improving police service picture.

“It hasn’t been an easy path to get to this point – nor has it happened as quickly as I, or our communities, would have wanted - but the team, and my office, can now really focus on delivering the key milestones within our new Estates’ Strategy.”

Wiltshire Chief Constable Catherine Roper said: "This is a significant step forward in providing a fully-functioning estate for my officers and staff in the south of our county.

“I believe well-placed and equipped police sites provide the base for my teams to work smarter, adapt to changing crime demand and more importantly, provide greater presence to our communities.

"These plans will enable us to be a modern and visible organisation who support our communities and workforce and deliver on our commitment to ‘Keeping Wiltshire Safe’."

Mr Wilkinson’s project team has explored several locations in and around the city centre culminating in lengthy investigations and negotiations to find land suitable for a policing hub.

Each site option now has the same acreage to deliver the Southern Policing Hub and provides Wiltshire Police with the option to future proof itself. Capital finance of £19M was committed in this year’s earlier budget-setting process and the next step would be to secure planning permission.

At this stage the budget does not provide an allocation for a custody unit but the project team has ensured any potential locations are flexible enough in size so they are future proof for policing in the south. Any decisions taken will be in-line with operational advice from the Chief Constable and with consideration to financial and planning positions.

Mr Wilkinson said: “Until we have secured planning permission and there is a spade in the ground, we are not promised a Southern Policing Hub, but the key thing is all the steps in the right direction are happening.

“Delivering a police service which meets the needs of its communities has never been more important – or challenging. I know residents want greater public engagement with officers, more public access and an increased officer presence at community level.

“All of this is underpinned by the importance of investment in police ‘estate’ to support the delivery of a policing service I know our residents want - and deserve.

“To fail to invest in our police estate would increasingly become detrimental to the policing serviced received in our communities and to maintain old, legacy, buildings at huge cost would not be a justifiable use of public money.

“I believe Wiltshire Police will be better equipped to provide the policing service our communities want if they have the infrastructure which supports them to respond more effectively and efficiently.”

Posted: 6 June, 2024

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