POLICE response times in Warwickshire are set to improve once a new state-of-the-art operations hub is up and running.
Work has started on the Operations Communications Centre which will see Neville House, on the Warwick Technology Park, entirely refurbished to provide a new, purpose-designed facility handling emergency and non-emergency calls.
Police chiefs say changes in technology, telecoms, estates and culture will mean officers and staff can work more efficiently and effectively.
And for the public, when completed towards the end of next year, it will mean improved responses and better opportunities to stay up to date on the progress of investigations.
Philip Seccombe, Police and Crime Commissioner for Warwickshire, said: “It has been extremely important to be able to retain the OCC facility here in Warwickshire, so I’m delighted that construction work is now getting under way at Neville House.
“This is a multi-million pound investment in the county which will retain jobs and ensure that the local knowledge of our workforce and the strong links with the Warwickshire community are maintained, creating an asset with which we can be very proud.
“Combined with investments in sophisticated new technology systems, staff at Neville House will have the very best facilities and tools at their disposal to ensure that when people contact Warwickshire Police, they are dealt with efficiently and effectively, with the most appropriate resources used to meet their call for assistance.”
The start of building work at Neville House follows that at Hindlip Park in Worcester. The new OCCs for Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police will operate as a single working model, but across two sites. The overall project will cost around £23.5 million. This is broken down into around £14 million for the building at Hindlip, £4 million for the refurbishment of the building in Warwick and £5.5 million for the new technologies at both sites.
Warwickshire Chief Constable Martin Jelley said: “As a force we strive to deliver the best policing resources we can, whilst adapting to meet the changing needs of our communities.
“We are undertaking a wide-reaching modernisation program and this new facility represents a significant milestone in our vision for the future. I welcome the start of this work, which will deliver the state-of-the-art facilities our officers and staff deserve.”