Bath police to get new £7million response base
Bath’s new police station is set to be followed by a £7million investment in a new base for response officers.
Avon and Somerset Police has a lease on Redbridge House in Lower Bristol Road until 2028 but there is a tenant break clause in 2025. The force’s budget for 2022/23 reveals that exploratory discussions are underway with potential partners for a new response base.
The £7million sum is the biggest for any single area of Avon and Somerset but is not expected to change the number of police officers in Bath. Any estate proposals will be subject to the approval of a fully costed business case.
The project predates Bath-based Mark Shelford’s election as police and crime commissioner last May.
Other capital schemes set out in next year’s budget – which was approved this month with a £10 council tax rise for the average band D property – include £8.2million to support the “continued evolution” of the estate in Somerset, including plans for South Somerset, Minehead and Frome police stations, plus £3million towards projects at two police stations in Bristol.
The force is also spending nearly £30million to upgrade its laptops, mobile phones, body worn video cameras and IT infrastructure, £11.5million in a national project to replace police radios, and £2.3million on new Tasers.
Former PCC Sue Mountstevens said in 2015 she sold Bath’s Manvers Street police station for £7million to protect the jobs of frontline officers. When it shut, the city’s neighbourhood and response officers moved to a Redbridge House in Lower Bristol Road, a mile away from the centre, leaving only an enquiry desk in Lewis House.
Politicians have been promising for years to give the police a more visible presence in Bath.
The new police station at Lewis House, a stone’s throw from the previous Manvers Street site, is expected to be fully operational from April 4.
Officers will use the building daily from 7am to 3am, and ad hoc outside those hours to support the night-time economy, and it will open to the public on weekdays from 10am to 6pm.
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