September 25th, 2016

Cuts may close police counters

Cuts may close police counters Cuts may close police counters
Updated: 5:09 pm, May 07, 2015

SHIRLEY Police Station and the Bluebell Centre in Chelmsley Wood will close their doors to the public in the next 12 months as part of sweeping cutbacks by West Midlands Police.

A total of 27 front counters are being closed across the force after a survey found some stations received just one visitor a day.

Bosses say the move will save £3million.

Solihull Station in Homer Road will remain open as one of ten front counters regionally and Balsall Common will continue to be run by volunteers.

Officers will still be based at all four borough stations and police chiefs say the front counter closures will not adversely alter the service they deliver.

However, the force has failed to guarantee there won’t be any job losses as a result of the changes, saying ‘every effort would be made to redeploy staff who may be affected by the closures.’

A Police spokesperson added: “Nothing will change to the local delivery of policing – local neighbourhood teams will continue to patrol and be very much a part of their local community.”

The force carried out a year-long survey which looked at front office use, accessibility and alternative methods of contact.

Over 7,000 people were interviewed and footfall across 41 front offices was monitored against the running costs in staffing front offices.

When asked their preferred method of contacting the police, front offices did not feature in the top three choices.

The majority preferred more modern ways of contacting the police.

Borough MPs Caroline Spelman and Lorely Burt have expressed their concerns over the proposed plans.

Mrs Spelman said: “It is disappointing that after the previous closure of the front office of Chelmsley Wood Police Station we are also set to lose the pod in the shopping centre.

“I have suggested the police might be able to provide a point of contact at Solihull Connect in Chelmsley Wood.”

Mrs Burt, who holds weekly surgeries in the same building as Shirley Police Station, said she has noticed several troubling things about these proposals which she will be taking up with the police.

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