Frontline police officers are set to move to a new base in Leighton Buzzard as Bedfordshire Police continues its efforts to reduce response times and address community concerns in the town.
The force’s community policing team is to start making the move to Bossard House over the coming weeks as the new policing facility in West Street begins to take shape.
Addressing concerns raised by local residents, Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Festus Akinbusoye worked with Chief Constable Trevor Rodenhurst to secure the new facility to help increase the police presence in the town.
Patrol officers who respond to 999 calls are now able to work from Bossard House between jobs to complete administrative tasks, reducing the need for officers to drive back to either Dunstable or Luton.
Though there are no plans for the site itself to be open to the public, the PCC has funded a new public service terminal that will be placed at Leighton Buzzard Library in the coming weeks.
The innovative technology will offer another way for the community to easily report crime, access support and communicate with officers on non-emergency matters.
“Since securing Bossard House, I have received some positive feedback from members of the Leighton Buzzard community about the difference this will make to the town,” said Mr Akinbusoye.
“In addition to increasing the town’s police presence by establishing this new hub, I’m particularly pleased to soon be launching our new terminals, which will tackle the challenges some residents face in accessing police support.
“We know that visible policing deters crime, which is why I will continue to work alongside the Chief Constable to ensure that our support for Leighton Buzzard continues to grow.”
Mr Rodenhurst met with local councillors on Friday (10 February) to discuss plans for the new Bossard House facility. As a result, it was agreed that there will be regular reviews of the site’s offering.
A dedicated patrol car remains based in the town wherever possible, while community officers will continue to publicise when they are carrying out engagements or attending events in Leighton Buzzard.
Chief Superintendent John Murphy said: “We’re glad to have agreed to begin the transition of community policing officers from their current base into Bossard House.
“Once the transition is complete, we will withdraw from Leighton Buzzard Fire Station, making Bossard House our new community policing hub alongside its role as an agile working site for patrol officers.
“The public service terminals are a welcome addition to the ways people can contact us, further reducing the need for people to come to an enquiry office to report crime.
“In an emergency, we would always advise the public to call 999. However, crime and other non-emergency incidents can be reported via 101, online and soon via the new public access terminals the PCC has funded.
“In the case where further information or a statement is required, then an appointment for such can be arranged as a home visit or even at Bossard House itself.”
If you want to find out more about what police are up to in Leighton Buzzard you can follow the town’s community policing team on Facebook.