PEOPLE on bail who have to report regularly to the police will need to travel to Amesbury to do so until Salisbury’s new custody unit is built.
And people who are arrested, and taken into custody at Melksham, will have to make their own way back home when released.
However, they will first be risk assessed, and if they are deemed to be “vulnerable”, they will be offered help.
These are the key points to emerge from a public meeting attended by Wiltshire’s chief constable Patrick Geenty and Police Commissioner Angus Macpherson at Salisbury City Hall on Monday.
With the Wilton Road police station due to close to make way for a university technical college, the meeting was intended to allay any fears about the impact on policing in the city.
In future, Salisbury will effectively have two police stations, each with a front desk – one at the Bourne Hill council offices, and the other to be included in the new Five Rivers community campus.
Asked how the public will know which one to go to with inquiries or to report a crime, a spokesman for the force said there will be a publicity campaign, including posters at Wilton Road, and probably signs in the city centre.
The meeting heard that it would not be appropriate to have some offenders on bail checking in at Bourne Hill, where reception will be shared with the council.
So until the custody unit opens on the old engine shed site at Churchfields, which should be in November 2015 , they will have to go to Amesbury police station.
The spokesman said: “We would put an arrangement in place for an officer to be there to meet them and deal with the necessary paperwork.”
He said it would be highly unusual for anyone to have to report daily. Twice a week would be more common. “In our judgement it’s not a significant problem.”
Anyone reporting on bail for a charging decision or a caution will go to Melksham.
People reporting sensitive issues to the police at Bourne Hill will be taken to a private meeting space. There is a sexual offence referral centre for Salisbury, and arrangements for victims of such offences will continue unchanged.
Mr Geenty told the meeting that if someone is arrested there will be 10 detention officers - civilian staff experienced in dealing with prisoners – working in shifts, responsible for driving them to Melksham.
He will also be drafting in 10 police officers from other parts of the county to Salisbury to ensure that there is enough cover locally during the transition period.