'Meet the police' van on the beat
A NEW mobile police station costing £25,000 has been launched to give residents a chance to build relationships with the police.
The van, which will be used by Martin Surl, Police and Crime Commissioner for Gloucestershire, went for a test drive into Barton for the Cultural Fair on Saturday.
Mr Surl said: "The van had its the first outing with a lot of interest from people coming to see it. The Lord Lieutenant also had a meeting in there with me during the fair. "We have yet to name the van – we want something different and colourful."
It will later be used by local policing teams and support officers to drive into different areas.
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Inside the vehicle is a small kitchen area with tea and coffee facilities. It also has a sofa with a small television and a table with chairs where meetings can take place.
Mr Surl said the aim was to give people in Gloucester a informal meeting place to talk to the police.
He added: "Some areas do not have a nearby station but also many people like to sit in an informal environment for a chat with the officers.
"We want children also to come along and use the mobile station with us."
He said it will help him complete his objectives outlined in the Police and Crime Plan 2013-2017.
That includes accessibility and accountability – getting the right resources to the right situation or problem first time – and meeting older people so they feel and remain an active part of communities.
Mr Surl added: "We have tried to keep the costs down. "The vehicle was secondhand, so all we needed to do was place a wall between the kitchen and meeting area.
"It will be heading into Stroud soon for an event."
■ What do you think the van should be called? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.