On 6 January 2020, as part of the latest phase of the Police and Crime Commissioner's Estate Strategy 2017-2021, Calne police station will close and officers and staff will start using Calne Leisure Centre as a touchdown point.
Touchdown points are public and visible areas where officers and staff can work and interact with the public, with welfare provision (some including interview facilities). Calne Leisure Centre will provide officers and staff with access to toilet and kitchen facilities as well as access to rest areas and a meeting space for carrying out work and interacting with the public.
Inspector Mark Luffman, of the Wiltshire North Community Policing Team, said: "Modern technology means that we no longer need to return to a police station to carry out work which means we can spend more time out in our communities.
"Our officers and staff are briefed at Monkton Park in Chippenham at the start of their shifts, and this will remain the case but having access to a public facility in the heart of our community means that our officers and staff can drop in for a refreshment break whilst on their patrols and still be available to engage with members of the public.
"If a member of the public wants to contact Wiltshire Police they should continue to call 101, or 999 in an emergency.
"But if they are using the centre and happen to see one of our officers or staff then they can, of course, raise any issues or concerns with them.
In drawing up his estates strategy, PCC Angus Macpherson asked the Chief Constable what his operational policing needs were. Calne Police Station, on Silver Street, was regarded as no longer meeting the operational needs of the Force.
Mr Macpherson said: "I am seeking to reduce the cost of the Wiltshire Police estate by 20 per cent by 2021. Every pound we save on running our estate is a pound I will not have to save from policing. However it is important to do this in a way that retains a presence in our communities and I have always been clear that I will not shut a police station until a suitable alternative has been arranged.
"Whilst there may be a perception that the closure of a police building means that local people will have less access to police officers and PCSOs, the reality is very different.
"Buildings don't keep people safe from crime. It is the visibility of officers out in the community and their ability to respond quickly when needed that is important.
"We have been using co-located facilities with our partners in the local authority for a number of years now and the opportunity for our officers and staff to use leisure centre facilities as a touchdown point will help to ensure that our officers remain visible and accessible within their communities."