Calls for police front desk in Chelmsley Wood - The Solihull Observer

Calls for police front desk in Chelmsley Wood

Solihull Editorial 3rd Nov, 2022   0

CALLS for a front desk to be installed at Chelmsley Wood police station to help communities feel protected have been voiced.

Meriden MP, Saqib Bhatti has written a letter to the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Simon Foster, saying his constituents would be left without any front-facing facilities when Solihull police station closes.

In his letter the Conservative MP claims the actions of the PCC are in complete contrast with the government’s increased funding and recruitment initiatives which will bring 867 new police officers to the West Midlands.

The letter says: “Communities need to feel protected and this means having more officers and visible deterrents.

“My constituents are concerned that there is no front desk or public access to report crimes.

“In fact, the failure to commit to keeping a fully functional police station in Solihull means the borough of Solihull would have no front-facing desk open to the public.

“The lack of accessibility for my constituents undermines public faith in our policing and is simply not good enough.”

The station in Chelmsley Wood was earmarked for public closure in 2014.

In In 2018 the former PCC, David Jamieson, approved controversial proposals to sell off the Homer Road station as part of wider plans to save £5million and protect officer jobs across the West Midlands region.

The original date for closure was late 2020 but this was delayed to autumn 2025 due to the pandemic.

Both Labour PCC’s Mr Foster and Mr Jamieson committed to not closing the Solihull station until a location for a new front desk had been found.

Mr Foster said: “Between 2010 and 2018, central government imposed reckless financial cuts on West Midlands Police of £175million.

“As a consequence of that, we in the West Midlands lost 2,221 of our police officers – 25 per cent of our police officers – as well as hundreds of essential police staff, including 300 police community support officers and community policing was dismantled.

“In relation to Solihull police station, the Neighbourhood Policing Teams and the public contact office will re-locate locally in central Solihull.

“Solihull has and will continue to have a public contact police station at which members of the public can attend, speak to a police officer and report crime.

“That has always been and remains my pledge.

“Solihull Council, West Midlands Police and I are already mutually engaged in meetings and a constructive dialogue, with a view to identifying suitable alternative locations.

“Safeguards have also already been put in place to ensure that before any buildings are sold, the local policing presence is guaranteed.”


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