Arrested face a trip to Salisbury in future(July 25, 2010)
PEOPLE who fall foul of the law and are arrested in Warminster are to be taken to the custody suite in Salisbury rather than Melksham in future, town councillors have been told.Inspector Dave Minty said that although the Salisbury station is further away it is less busy and would mean police officers spend less time caught up dealing with procedures.
Once upon a time when people were arrested they were taken to the local station, banged up overnight and let out in the morning but that all changed when the Police and Criminal Evidence (PACE) legislation came in in the early 1990s.
Since then arrested people have had to be banged up by specially trained custody sergeants.
Until 2003 Warminster was in the old police 'A' Division - hence the call sign Alpha Whisky - and all arrested people would go to Salisbury as a matter of course.
When the divisions changed and Warminster had to be included in the C division to comply with Labour's 'coterminosity' rules, this forced all the work to be done in Chippenham division - which also had the only disability and human rights compliant courtroom at the time.
''What this latest change has done has been to return us to the more sensible situation we had before,'' said VFW's Steve Dancey.
''It also means that people are likely to face their first appearance before magistrates at the new fully compliant Salisbury courts complex rather than in Chippenham.
''It is a dreadful shame that local justice has been dispensed with by the Home Office as it was far more transparent when the court was here in Warminster (until 1993) but at least Salisbury is more easily accessible than Chippenham.''