New plan to close Marlborough police station - this time it's definite as 'touchdown sites' take overThe Police and Crime Commissioner is looking for space in a shared building in Marlborough which can be used by police. Such facilities are called 'touchdown sites' and once established this would mean the certain closure of Marlborough Police Station.
This news comes in the Police Estates Strategy for 2017 to 2021 issued today (August 2) by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon, Angus Macpherson. Under the plans Community Policing Teams covering the Marlborough area will be based at Devizes Police HQ and at Tidworth police station.
The document gives a list of ten Wiltshire towns - including Marlborough and Pewsey - where the Commissioner wants to save on overheads: "We have existing buildings in each of these locations; however they are not shared with partners and are approaching the end of life. I wish to move as many touchdown sites to facilities similar to those offered at Corsham campus and the Nadder Centre, Tisbury." Marlborough Police Station was built on the site of the old Police Station some fifteen years ago.
Referring to the list of these ten towns the summary of the strategy says: "We will develop shared buildings to meet touchdown requirements at the following locations:..." Elsewhere the strategy refers again to the list and states: "Senior officers have indicated where...touchdown points would be useful and that list has been shared with council and blue light partners to help identify suitable premises..."
Police 'touchdown sites' are defined as "... public and visible areas where officers and staff can work and interact with the public, with welfare provision. Some will include interview facilities." They may just be places where you could go to make an appointment to see a police officer.
The summary of the strategy adds a little confusion to the status of policing in Marlborough as the town also features on a list of seven places at which the Commissioner intends to continue with 'front counter services' - albeit in Marlborough's case with 'limited hours'.
The example of the new policing method that is often quoted is the police presence at Corsham's Springfield Centre - the first Wiltshire Council 'campus' or 'Health and Wellbeing Centre' to open. There are no plans for such a centre in Marlborough as Wiltshire Council's budget for such developments has run out.
The sort of shared accommodation that the Commissioner would be looking for is the library or town council offices. The strategy relies heavily on 'shared buildings' - even Trowbridge police station is targeted for change because it is not a shared facility.
The freehold of Marlborough Police station is vested in the Police and Crime Commissioner.
At present Marlborough Police Station is rated as an 'Enquiry Office' and is open: Tuesday and Thursday 9am-5pm (Closed 12.45pm-1.15pm), Wednesday 9am-12.30pm. Closed Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Friday and Bank Holidays.