A new police station in Caerphilly is on course for a spring opening in the heart of the town, it has been confirmed.
The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Gwent, Jeff Cuthbert, has announced that a new, permanent police station is set for Cardiff Road, Caerphilly, after residents and local councillors raised concerns over a lack of police presence in the town.
The town centre has been left without a permanent police station since the closure of Gwent Police’s Market Street base in January this year.
According to Mr Cuthbert, planning permission for the change of use and renovation work at 62 Cardiff Road is in the application process, with front counter premises set to open in spring 2017.
Once completed, the station will provide a space for the public to engage with the neighbourhood police service in a confidential environment. The new facility will permanently house the Caerphilly Central neighbourhood team.
Mr Cuthbert added: “I have listened carefully to what residents have told me and I am pleased to announce that we will be opening a new police station in the centre of Caerphilly.
“We looked at a number of options and the premises on Cardiff Road provided the most sustainable solution to policing provision in the centre of the town.
“I want to ensure that we provide an accessible policing service in Gwent which adequately responds to local need and provides assurance to the community. This new station is part of that commitment.”
The announcement follows campaigning by local councillors and will be seen as reassuring by residents, who were left stunned by the recent stabbing of a man in the town centre on Thursday September 15.
One of the campaigners, Cllr James Pritchard of Morgan Jones ward, said the development would be great news for local residents: “Our campaign for a police station in Caerphilly town centre was met with unanimous support from residents on the doorstep.
“The public want a face-to-face service in Caerphilly and a closer police presence generally. We’re very happy with this positive news.”
Since the closure of the Market Street station, which itself replaced a larger base on Mountain Road in 2011, Gwent Police has operated a front desk service at the town’s library.
Gwent Police Chief Superintendent, Marc Budden, said: “Our officers are accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week, however, we understand that having a presence in town centres can provide reassurance to local residents and visitors.
“We are pleased this provision is becoming available in the New Year and we look forward to working closely with the local community.”