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Avon and Somerset officers and Hot Fuzz Swan move to new site

The Avon and Somerset Neighbourhood Policing team for Wells have moved to a new station at Burcott Road where they will be co-locating with Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service.

The new Wells police station was officially opened by Chief Constable Andy Marsh on Wednesday 28 April 2021.

The ‘Hot Fuzz’ Swan Sculpture, which was gifted to Avon and Somerset Police in 2012 by the popular comedy film's Director Edgar Wright, has migrated to the new station at Burcott Road along with the team.

Chief Inspector Sharon Baker said: “Whilst we are sad to say goodbye to the Glastonbury Road site, it is fantastic to see the iconic Swan move with us. The old site was just too big and no longer fit for purpose and the new station at Burcott Road will better meet the needs of modern day policing."

The old police station at Glastonbury Road was originally built in the 1950s and had become costly to run with high ongoing maintenance fees. The force said the station was underutilised and no longer met the needs of modern policing for the local Neighbourhood Policing team, and the move to the new station will “provide Police Officers, PCSOs and staff with a modern, energy efficient base, which is close to the city centre”.

“I’m pleased we have been able to find such a great new location in the city, enabling us to still deliver policing services for the population of Wells from the heart of the community," said C/Insp Baker. "The move to the new police station will not affect the number of Police Officers and PCSOs working in the area who will continue to be out and about in the local community.”

CC Andy Marsh wrote on an internal blog marking the swan's move “I’ve had many career highlights over my 34 years of service but one that will always bring a smile to my face whenever I see it airing on TV is our involvement and deep connection with the film Hot Fuzz.”

He was District Commander on F District when the force was first approached by the producers to help collaborate with what he was told was a documentary-drama.

“Having been told that the plot was about a super cop from ‘The Met’ who came to ‘Sandford’ (Wells) and made the locals look daft, I must admit I wasn’t warm to the idea of how they were intending to portray our hard working team in Wells,” said CC Marsh. “I soon realised it wasn’t a documentary and much more a harmless comedy so negotiations led to a significant funding contribution to local crime reduction initiatives before cast and crew quickly became regular faces in and around Wells police station with many areas hired to the production company for filming.”

Before filming began officers took members of the cast and crew, including actors Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, on ride-alongs to show what real policing looked like.

“Several of the more memorable moments that the crew experienced during these times were written into the film script, including some of the well-known jokes, including buying the team cakes for forgetting hats and most famously Simon Pegg really did help the local team chase an escaped Swan.”

Their collaboration and support in helping the film's production was recognised by the local director Edgar Wright and he donated the sculpture, which has since become an iconic feature outside the station.

"We might not have the Hollywood Boulevard Walk of Fame in Wells but believe me the team have had their 15 minutes of fame and we have the swan to prove it," said CC Marsh.

"Because of all this it was important to me and the local team that this swan continues its journey with us, so as we move to new premises it has made its own way to our new site.”

About the move to the new station, CC Marsh said: “This is an exciting time for local policing and we are pleased to be joining our colleagues from Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service at the Burcott Road site. South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust also use the site as a social standby point so the move to the new station truly reinforces our commitment to serving our communities and continuing to work alongside our local partners.”.

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