Plans are being made for a new police station in Salisbury, after a review into police facilities found the current space is inadequate for modern-day policing.

Salisbury Police currently share a building with Wiltshire Council at Bourne Hill, but more space is needed for the force, according to Chief Constable of Wiltshire Police, Kier Pritchard.

Salisbury Journal:

The current site at Bourne Hill

Philip Wilkinson, Wiltshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner said this week that he is “keeping an open mind” as to the nature and location of the new station, which “could be an entirely new, purpose-built, station” or “a building that we re-purpose to fit our needs”.

Read more: New Salisbury police station: Bourne Hill station inadequate, says PCC

Salisbury residents have made some suggestions as to where the new police station could be located.

The force moved its services from its station in Wilton Road in June 2014, which then became the Wiltshire University Technical College (UTC) before that also closed in 2019.

While no details on the new station have been confirmed, some readers have suggested the force returns to the building.

Other suggestions include the former post office building in Castle Street, near Tesco Express, a location near the fire station on Ashley Road, or a purpose-built site opposite the old infirmary on Fisherton Street.

The debate will be influenced by whether or not a custody suite will be included in the plans.

The nearest custody suite to Salisbury is currently in Melksham, about 30 miles away.

Speaking to The Journal during a visit to Bourne Hill this September, the PCC, who was elected to the post in August, said he would like to build a custody suite in the city, but this would be costly and would require hiring more officers.

Read more: New police station to be opened in Salisbury, says PCC Philip Wilkinson

Salisbury Mayor, Cllr Caroline Corbin, has said the site should be somewhere “very accessible”.

“They need to deliver on their promises. When the police station moved from Wilton Road, we were told we would get a custody suite,” the mayor said.

“They also need to step up to the plate and have a safe space for mental health patients. The vulnerable that fall foul of the law have to be dragged across the county to Melksham. 

“The police station must be in Salisbury and remain in Salisbury.”

Cllr Corbin added that the Bourne Hill site cannot accommodate both the police and the council services, and there are questions over accessibility: “Neither service has enough space and it is confusing as the site is closed on weekends, and you access it by the side of Salisbury Arts Centre.”

The review into the current premises concluded that while the current site has “some” facilities to support an agile police force in the 21st century, it does not meet all future requirements.

Wiltshire Police says that there is need for more space and extra officers, for the Government’s Uplift pledge to recruit 20,000 more officers.

The PCC has instructed his office to look into options, and after considering these, he will hold a public consultation on the issue.

Mr Wilkinson said: “Our challenge will be finding the right way to improve the policing situation that works for our officers and staff now, and in the future, and delivers the police service our beautiful city of Salisbury deserves.”

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