Bradley Stoke residents should find it easier to speak to a police officer in person following the official opening of a ‘beat post’ at the Willow Brook shopping centre earlier this month.
The new office, accessed from the shopping mall via a short passage between the Santander bank agency and Reflections hairdressers, gives police a local base meaning that they no longer have to spend time returning to Filton police station in order to perform administrative tasks.
Residents can now make an appointment to speak to a police officer in person at the local office. A weekly ‘drop in’ session will also be held on Wednesdays between 1pm and 3pm, when officers will be available to “discuss any issues or concerns and give advice” without a prior appointment being made.
The office for the beat post has been provided free of charge by the Willow Brook Centre, which will also pay all associated utility costs. Bradley Stoke Town Council is also supporting the venture up to the tune of £750 per annum (approved until April 2012) covering business rates and other ancillary charges.
Speaking at the official opening, Bradley Stoke Mayor Ben Walker said:
“I am delighted to be able open this beat post from which our neighbourhood policing team will operate, to further improve the town’s policing. We continue to work with and support our policing team to ensure Bradley Stoke benefits from some of the best services available throughout South Gloucestershire.”
The beat post provides a base for PC Claire Fletcher and Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) Paul Baxter, whose roles are both subsidised by local Councils.
The rest of the Bradley Stoke neighbourhood team, PC Steve Palmer and PCSOs Kirsty Flicker and Jason Green, will continue to use Filton police station as a base.
PC Fletcher said:
“We are really grateful to the Willow Brook Centre and the town council for supporting this new base for us. It will mean we can spend more time out and about in the community, without having to return to Filton police station to complete paperwork or make calls.”
PCSO Baxter added:
“The office is very much a base, not a mini police station – we’ll still spend most of our time out on patrol across the whole of Bradley Stoke. It is a more convenient location than the police station for local people who want to make an appointment with us, [or call in to one of the weekly the ‘drop in’ sessions].”
People living in Bradley Stoke can contact any member of the neighbourhood team by calling 0845 456 7000, e-mailing email@example.com or through the website, www.avonandsomerset.police.uk.
Willow Brook Centre Manager Scott Lahive commented to The Journal:
“We are delighted to be able to house the local beat post for Bradley Stoke. The Willow Brook Centre is in the heart of the town and provided the perfect location for Avon and Somerset Constabulary to base the local beat team.”
“Being located so centrally allows the thousands of people who visit the centre every week access to such a vital service.”
“This partnership between Avon and Somerset Constabulary, Bradley Stoke Town Council and the Willow Brook Centre at a time of austerity demonstrates our joint commitment to the local resident of Bradley Stoke.”
Related link: Police in Bradley Stoke (The Journal)
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