Police station reopens after covid delay

By Barrie Hudson - 30 July 2020

Community
  • Royal Wootton Bassett Mayor and Mayoress Nic and Sue Hughes cut the ceremonial ribbon watched by Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson, right, Chief Constable Kier Pritchard, left, and Inspector Doug Downing

    Royal Wootton Bassett Mayor and Mayoress Nic and Sue Hughes cut the ceremonial ribbon watched by Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson, right, Chief Constable Kier Pritchard, left, and Inspector Doug Downing

Royal Wootton Bassett's police station has been officially reopened following extensive refurbishment.

  • The refurbishment included a new parade room

    The refurbishment included a new parade room

The ceremony was performed by mayor and mayoress Nic and Sue Hughes, watched by Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson, Chief Constable Kier Pritchard and local senior officer Inspector Doug Downing.

The station had been closed since October, with the anticipated spring reopening having to be postponed because of delays associated with the coronavirus crisis.

The refurbishment is part of the Police and Crime Commissioner's ongoing Estates Strategy 2017-21.

Mr Macpherson said: “My strategy is designed to help focus our efforts in transforming our sites in order to continue to be fit for the demands of modern day policing. 

"The out-of-date Royal Wootton Bassett Station was identified as a Community Policing Team hub, and as such required significant refurbishment to ensure it was fit for purpose, involving a substantial investment of over £600k.”

During the extensive program of work, the building was transformed into an open plan office space with a dedicated refreshment and locker area. New windows have been installed, a new roof fitted, the old garages removed, parking extended, the green areas of the site enhanced and a variety of cosmetic improvements made. 

The aim was to ensure the site became a bright, modern and pleasant space in which to work.

Inspector Doug Downing said: “Officers usually based at the station have been temporarily relocated to local touchdown facilities at both the Town Council offices, during the day, and the Fire Station offering 24/7 access which has been really helpful. 

"Usual briefings at the start of officers’ shifts have been taking place from Malmesbury Police Station as well as Cricklade, which has also been utilised for admin and comfort breaks, prior to patrolling the local area. 

"I am confident that the local community have retained a continued service and reassuring police presence throughout the improvements being undertaken, but we are pleased to be getting back to our new and improved site.”

The officers and staff began moving back into their usual base a few days ago.

Chief Constable Kier Pritchard said: “Together with the Police and Crime Commissioner, all our sites were reviewed and assessed. 

"As an integral hub for the area, Royal Wootton Bassett required significant investment to remain suitable for 21st century policing. 

"This is the latest phase of the plan and it’s great to see the station finished and staff settling in, utilising the space. It’s a huge improvement for our officers and for any members of the public who need to meet here.”

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