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Issue 287 – New ‘Police Post’ for town centre

THE MARKET YARD car park in Frome has acquired a ‘Neighbourhood Police Post’, to make patrolling the town more efficient.

Avon and Somerset Police decided to install the post in a central location so that police officers and Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) wouldn’t have to keep returning to the Oldfield Road station during shifts.
However the police have stressed that the police post is not a new police station for the town centre. The post occupies the site of the former Shopmobility building. It will not be constantly occupied, but will act as a base for police officers, meaning they can spend more time in the town centre on patrol.
Frome and Area Neighbourhood Sergeant Jim Waugh said, “For a considerable amount of time PCSOs and PCs have had to return to the police station from the town centre during shifts for a variety of reasons, which is not the most efficient way to patrol. This is a way to establish a more visible, tangible presence in the town centre.”
Sgt Waugh said that officers could use the police point to store wet weather gear and carry out administration tasks that would otherwise have meant a trip to the police station. “We want our NPTs to be visibly out on patrol 80 percent of the time. We recognise that a visible presence provides reassurance. This gives the teams a chance to make a better use of their time.”
The police point will also be useful for officers to have a quiet chat with members of the public about issues that may concern them. Regular drop-in surgeries are also planned for the post, with details to follow.
Sgt Waugh added, “With more visible patrols, hopefully people in Frome will feel safer. We’ve been driving to address the issues that matter to local people and we are seeing a big change in feeling around Frome.”
Frome Town Council has provided funding for the NPT in Frome, with Mendip District Council providing the site.
Sgt Waugh said, “The effort and the speed in getting this done from both councils was phenomenal. The will was there and we’re really grateful to both.”
At the launch Frome mayor, cllr Damon Hooton said, “On behalf of Frome Town Council, we are delighted to have helped facilitate a police post in the town centre. Not only does it strengthen our ongoing working partnership with the police but it also takes a step further towards the town council’s aim of helping to reduce crime and make Frome a safe place to be.”
Picture: Cutting the tape at the opening of the new Neighbourhood Police Post are from left PCSO Declan Quinn; Judi Thompson (Mendip Council community safety officer); PCSO Ben Green; PCSO Victoria Irven; Sgt. Jim Waugh; Supt. Mike Prior; Cllr. Damon Hooton (Mayor of Frome), PC Rachel Clark (town centre beat manager), PCSO Paul Edwards and Vaugh Perrett, Avon and Somerset Police estates manager.