IT issues frustrate police since move
1:20pm Friday 10th August 2012 in Latest News
Chippenham police have been plagued by IT problems since moving into the Monkton Park council offices in February.
The Neighbourhood Policing Team, which was permanently stationed in the building as the council and police strengthen ties, has often been forced back into the old Wood Lane station when servers crash.
The frustrating issues have kept officers from accessing the logs, needed to track and record crimes across the county.
Wiltshire Police Authority chair, Chris Hoare said: “Wiltshire Police Authority and Wiltshire Council have an agreed strategy to use shared facilities to house local policing services. “In relation to Monkton Park, WPA has agreed the move for neighbourhood and response teams. The Force is progressing work on an integrated front counter service and WPA will be asked to agree the plans before any move takes place.”
IT problems are not the only issue haunting police – plans to move police inquiry desks into council offices across Wiltshire have been slammed by the police authority councillor, Chris Caswill.
The Wiltshire councillor, responsible for the Chippenham Monkton division, says the plans may discourage the reporting of crimes.
Chippenham’s Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) moved to the Monkton Park council offices in January this year, but response officers and the inquiry desk have yet to make the move from Wood Lane.
Coun Caswill said: “I can see that there are benefits to the NPT working in close quarters with the council – but I don’t agree that the inquiry desks should be anything to do with council business.”
“I don’t think anyone will want to report an incident of domestic violence, for example, while someone is standing behind them in a queue getting irritated because they haven’t got a pass for the car park.”
The councillor believes that eventually council staff will end up manning the inquiry desks.
“It’s ultimately a cost-cutting measure,” he said.
A joint statement from the police and the council said: “Wiltshire police and Wiltshire council are providing a more integrated service to the public. “The local neighbourhood policing teams moved into the Monkton park building earlier this year and have been working well with the council partners. The building is a new hub, where the council and police are working closely together and making use of best practice between organisations. This includes a fully integrated front counter service, which will be more cost effective and beneficial to the public. There have been some minor IT issues recently, in combining council and police systems, however, we are working hard to rectify this as soon as possible.”