WITH just four days to go before the police open their new station in Salisbury’s Bourne Hill council offices, serious concerns have been raised about the future policing of the city.
Salisbury area board chairman Ricky Rogers said he has major concerns about the security of civilian staff working at the site and how people will access the service in the longer term.
There will be a local crime team and detectives based at Bourne Hill but at times, especially in the evenings, there will be a lone person on duty on a front desk.
“Staff believe the council do not have a clear understanding of some of the issues dealt with in a police inquiry office”, Cllr Rogers said.
He said other problems could arise after the move to the new campus at Five Rivers and that which services will be provided from which site has not been made clear.
“I do not believe the services being provided from each of the sites have been clearly defined,” he said.
“When the campus is finished, and the police officers move there, the public won’t have any access to speak to them.
“The service available at the campus will just be some basic signposting and use of a phone to a call centre in Devizes.
“I don’t think anybody understands what our new model police station is going to be like.”
And he has concerns about reliance on civilian volunteers to run the campus.
In a joint response, the police and council said that once the campus opens, they will “ensure the public is fully aware of which services are being offered from which location”.
Health and safety teams have carried out a risk assessment and put in place practical solutions to protect staff and the public, they said.
The front door at Bourne Hill will be locked at 8pm, as it currently is at Bourne Hill.
A statement said: “The full range of police front counter services will be delivered at Bourne Hill, with the exception of registered sex offenders who will be dealt with at the nearest prescribed police station.
“There will be a private space available to anyone reporting issues of a sensitive nature.”
They are also looking to have a similar private space at the new campus, and “a suitable trained officer will be contacted to deal with sensitive issues appropriately”.
Campus staff will be advised how to handle a variety of situations should they arise.
They said the police and the council will collaborate wherever they can to provide a better service and cut costs.
“However, operational policing will remain independent.”