A FORMER Calne town councillor is urging residents to fight to save the police station after fears about its closure were confirmed.

Mercy Baggs, who retired from her post before the local elections earlier this year, said she will be putting up petitions in shop windows to help save the station after residents voiced their concerns about the Silver Street base.

“I understand we only had one sergeant and one police constable on duty last Friday to cover the whole of Calne and the surrounding villages,” she said.

“My concern is that everything seems to be taken away from us first and we are going to end up as a dormitory town once again.”

Under the new Estates Strategy, the station will be closed once a ‘touchdown’ base, a public and visible space where officers and staff can work together for the public, has been established.

Supt Chris Chammings, the commander of the Community Policing Teams covering north and west Wiltshire, said: “Calne is one of the locations where the Police and Crime Commissioner will be seeking a community touchdown point in premises shared either with a council or blue light partner.

“While there may be a perception that the closure of a police building means that local people will have less access to police officers and PCSOs, the reality is very different.

“Buildings don’t keep people safe from crime. It is the visibility of officers out in the community and their ability to respond quickly when needed that is important.

“The introduction of the community policing model and the Commissioner’s major investment in mobile technology has enabled officers and PCSOs to be out in their communities, once they have their initial briefing at their nearest policing hub.

“This investment in smartphones, laptops and tablets for our officers and staff means that officers no longer need to return to a police station to write reports.

“They can now do that work and much more, while out and about.

“The Chief Constable has made clear he wants people to see our officers and PCSOs in public places, whether a building which we share with the council, such as a leisure centre, or even a coffee shop.”