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Twenty-first century policing hits Wiltshire.

September 14, 2015 4:53 PM

Wiltshire Police will start piloting a new way of working in the Trowbridge and Warminster area from today (Monday 14 September).

The pilot will test a Community Team operating model which aims to further enhance local policing.

It will run for a minimum of ten weeks in an area covering Trowbridge, Warminster, Bradford on Avon, Westbury, Tisbury, Mere and other villages.

The Community Team will bring together the skills and experience of smaller teams made up of neighbourhood policing, response officers who deal with 999 calls, investigators and call handlers and dispatchers.

Inspector James Brain will oversee the Team of 100+ staff and officers who will work together to meet the needs of the community across the Trowbridge and Warminster area.

Inspector Brain said: "The pilot model will use the experience and skills of Constables, Sergeants, Community Beat Managers, investigators and Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) to best meet the needs of the community.

"Using new technology, including 3G laptops and smart phones, we will be able to work out in the community bringing the police station with us; ensuring officers are more visible to the public. Combining the skills and experience of small teams aims to expand the skill set and local knowledge of staff and officers based within the community and allow us to further tailor our response to community engagement and 999 response, aiming to get the right person to the incident at the right time."

Wiltshire Police Chief Constable Mike Veale said: "Wiltshire continues to be one of the safest counties in the country. New technology will enable officers to set up their office in the heart of the community, in coffee shops, libraries, parks and village halls. By having a police force that is more visible and accessible to the community we will be able to work more closely with communities potentially helping to prevent and resolve more local crime."

New technology also aims to improve contact for victims and witnesses, giving staff and officers more opportunities to keep victims and witness updated and deal with a crime or incident from the initial call to its conclusion.

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon Angus Macpherson, said: "This project fits with one of the four priorities in my new Police and Crime Plan: to secure high quality, efficient and trusted services.

"I want the Chief Constable and all officers and staff to focus on the quality of service delivered to the public.

"A single team covering local policing, response and investigations will, I feel sure, provide a better service to victims, in line with another of my priorities.

"I am very keen to see police officers getting out of their police stations and into the community and I very much support the idea of a local officer 'owning' a case from beginning to end.

"I am investing about £3.5m between 2014 and 2019 on modern technology such as tablets, smart phones and laptops to aid efficient working by the police, including £600,000 in the current year.

"I will be following the progress of this pilot closely and will be very interested to see the results."