A NEW police touchdown point has been set up at the Cricklade leisure centre after the town’s police station was closed down.

Touchdown points are places where officers and staff can work with the public.

Deputy PCC Russell Holland welcomed its opening as he believes a visible police presence is still important.

In a video posted to Twitter, Mr Holland said: “We’re incredibly grateful to Cricklade Town Council, the community association and the leisure centre staff for supporting it [the touchdown point].

“After the closure of the police station, we were very keen to have somewhere where there’ll be more visible policing for Cricklade and that’s exactly what this touchdown point will do.”

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Cricklade police station was closed in 2017 after it was deemed to no longer be meeting the needs of the force.

Insp James Brain from the Chippenham and RWB Neighbourhood Team said: “Our officers want to be visible and accessible to the public and modern technology means that we no longer need to return to a police station to carry out work.

“Having access to a public facility in the heart of our community means that our officers and staff can drop in for a refreshment break whilst on their patrols and still be available to engage with members of the public.”

Cricklade Leisure Centre manager and town councillor Kate Grainger is looking forward to the touchdown point being used:

“I think it’ll be excellent for the community. I’ve been really pushing forward to get this as a touchdown point having lost the station in the High Street so it’ll be amazing to have them here.

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Her words were echoed by Mark Clarke, the chair of Cricklade Town Council:

“The Leisure Centre is a very well used facility in the town and is therefore well suited to be the new Touchdown Point. We are confident that it will enable closer links between the residents and the police to the benefit of all concerned.”