Work has started on creating a new base for Bath’s neighbourhood policing and response teams following the sale of the police station in Manvers Street to the University of Bath.
Avon and Somerset Constabulary has signed a lease for two floors of Redbridge House in Midland Road which will become a new police centre.
While this facility will not be open to the public, a new enquiry office is also set to be created at Lewis House, the One Stop Shop, in the city centre.
In December, the neighbourhood policing team and also the response team for the Bath and Keynsham area will move into this new facility at Redbridge House.
They will use the building to attend briefings at the start and end of shifts and will then be out in the community for the rest of their shift.
There will be one interview suite, which will be used solely to question people who have volunteered to attend an interview, but no custody facilities as these have already been relocated to Keynsham.
Work is now underway at Redbridge House, which is owned by The Kingsmead Motor Company, to transform the two floors into facilities suitable for the policing teams to work from.
Until the work is complete, these teams will remain based at the police station in Manvers Street, which is due to be handed over to the university by the end of January.
Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: “The constabulary and I have always been clear about our commitment to ensuring a real policing footprint in Bath.
“Local people continually bring to my attention the importance of having a visible policing presence in the area, so I am fully aware of their feelings on this development.
“Manvers Street Police Station was oversized and under-utilised and that’s why the building was sold.
“The deal was beneficial to the police and the public purse and has allowed us to locate police officers and staff at Redbridge House, only a mile away from Manvers Street.”
The police are also working with Bath & North East Somerset Council to co-locate a new enquiry office at the authority’s One Stop Shop at Lewis House in Manvers Street – just across the road from the current station.
This will continue to provide residents with a city centre police enquiry office facility and will also provide a city centre facility for officers to use if necessary while out on patrol.
It is hoped this will be established by early 2016.
There will be no disruption to police services while these moves take place.
The Leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council, Cllr Tim Warren, said: “We believe it’s very important for a visible police presence to be maintained within the centre of Bath, and so we have been working with Avon & Somerset police to support and enable them to maintain this city centre presence at our One Stop Shop on Manvers Street.
“Bringing this service into the council’s One Stop Shop allows us to provide a wide range of services to the public from one central location.”
Local Policing Area Commander for Bath & North East Somerset, Kevin Thatcher said: “The move out of the current station in Manvers Street will not impact on our policing of the area.
“Our officers will still be policing Bath and the surrounding area as they do now, tackling the issues that are important to the community.
“Members of the public will still be able to contact their local policing team in the same ways as they do now and officers will also continue to hold regular beat surgeries.”