POLICE officers and staff will start using several libraries across the county to work and listen to concerns from the public touchdown points from March 2.

As part of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon’s 2017-2021 Estate Strategy, the operational needs of Wiltshire Police were reviewed and several buildings were identified as no longer fit for purpose.

Officers and staff will begin using town libraries as 'touchdown points' where they can engage with the public in their communities.

Mr Angus Macpherson said: “These new touchdown points will mean officers can work out in the community where the public are, instead of tucked away out of sight in unfit for purpose police stations. I’ve invested heavily in technology so officers can work from anywhere and don’t need to be tethered to a desk to carry out their work. Using shared locations as touchdown points means we’re able to save valuable funds whilst still serving the public and still being able to react quickly if required.

“Every pound we save on running our estate is a pound protected for front line policing.

“Sharing locations with our partners is not a new concept. We have been doing so successfully at various locations around the county for several years now and I have always been clear that I will not shut a police station until a suitable alternative has been agreed.”

Wiltshire South Inspector Pete Sparrow said: “Officers and staff no longer need to return to a police station to do paperwork. They can now do that and more, while out and about, thanks to a major investment in mobile technology by the commissioner."

“Members of the public are welcome to approach our officers at the new touchdown points to discuss local issues or simply have a chat. Or you could arrange to meet them at a mutually convenient time. Of course, if it’s an emergency, we would still expect the public to call 999. For non-emergencies call 101.”