A NEW police station is set to open in Somerset in 2019.

The venue, in Shepton Mallet, will be based at the Haskins Retail Centre in the town centre and is expected to open in summer/autumn this year.

Shepton Mallet police station will house an enquiry office open to the public as well as a base for the local neighbourhood policing team and the patrol team for the Mendips and will mean Wells loses its enquiry office.

Avon and Somerset Police say the move confirms the commitment to keep the local neighbourhood policing team in the heart of the community, with the facility replacing the current base at Mendip District Council.

In the Mendip area there is also a need for a police station to house patrol officers who respond to the 999 and 101 calls received each day.

The new police station in Shepton Mallet will provide this base, located close to the main roads and the demand faced. Patrol officers from Wells and Frome will move to Shepton Mallet.

The opening of this police station will lead to some changes across the Mendip area:

• Wells – The local neighbourhood policing team will remain in Wells. A new police station is being sought with the preferred option to co-locate with Devon and Somerset Fire. The enquiry office is moving to Shepton Mallet.

• Frome – The local neighbourhood policing team and enquiry office will remain as they are now.

• Street - The local neighbourhood policing team will remain in Street. Future options for the police stations are being reviewed.

Chief Inspector Sharon Baker said: “The new police station will provide a hub for our police officers and PCSOs in the Mendips and we are looking forward to having a central and visible base.

“These plans don’t affect the number of officers or PCSOs in the community, who will continue to work as they currently do. In fact they are becoming more visible by increasingly patrolling on foot and by bike and completing paperwork in the community using laptops.”

Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner, Sue Mountstevens, said: “This is an exciting time for the Mendip area. I’m pleased we can finally announce our plans which include a new purpose built station in Shepton Mallet fit for today’s policing, as well as a continued focus to remain in our core areas such as Wells and Frome.

"My commitment to residents is to protect local policing numbers including the officers and PCSO’s that serve the Mendip area.

"We are able to do this, while also releasing money from our over-sized under-utilised buildings, and investing in the latest technology to make policing responsive to local people’s needs by being as mobile and accessible as possible.”