1. ITV Report

Wiltshire Police opens £2million call centre

Wiltshire Police opens £2million call centre Photo: ITV News

Wiltshire Police has opened its new £2 million control room. Managers say it'll help staff deal with emergencies quicker. But some have been raising eyebrows that the force has spent the money while making big cuts elsewhere.

It's the newest police control centre in the country. Operators answer around two hundred 999 and a thousand non-emergency calls a day.

The new control room is cutting edge of communication centres Credit: ITV News

A decade ago the Duchess of Gloucester opened a so-called tri-service control centre. It cost £7 million. Police, ambulance and fire all working together. Except they didn't. The fire union insisted on a piece of glass to separate them, last year both they and the ambulance service pulled out - leaving the police on their own.

John Flynn is from Wiltshire Police:

Some have questioned why a force that is cutting £15 million pounds over six years has given the green light to two million pounds for this revamp. The answer is - it's out of a different budget.

This room is open 24/7 365 days a year. The previous environment were at least 10 years old if not older. And it was time to invest in those. Our staff have to come to work and they require a suitable environment and this has really put Wiltshire Police in the cutting edge of communication centres.

– John Flynn, Wiltshire Police

It also has solar panels generating enough electricity to power the computers. But the main point of this centre is speeding up communications between the police - and the people who need them.