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19th Jan, 2022

MP slams ‘disgrace’ as plan to shut Solihull police station moves closer

Sarah Mason 26th Nov, 2021

PLANS to close Solihull police station and open a front desk in the town centre are set to take a step closer to reality, despite opposition from campaigners.

The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner’s office has confirmed that Commissioner Simon Foster is set to meet with leaders at Solihull Council next month to discuss where a front desk could go.

Mr Foster has proposed the Homer Road site will close by autumn 2025 after approving plans from the force’s Chief Constable for what it needs to provide an effective police service in the region.

The PCC says the plans will also ensure that neighbourhood police officers continue to be based in communities.

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 has been delayed due to the pandemic.

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

Speaking about the latest plans, Mr Foster said: “The plans he (the Chief Constable) has put forward will maintain the current number of publicly accessible front desks, keep local officers based in their communities and modernise the estate.

“These plans will save money too, which will be re-invested in protecting police officer numbers to keep people and their families safe and secure.”

However, the plans have faced fierce opposition from residents and Solihull MP Julian Knight.

Mr Knight, who led a 3,500-strong petition against the closure of the station, said: “I am afraid a police desk with a couple of part-time constables is not the same as a large police station.

“It is utterly disgraceful.

“The people of Solihull will not take this lying down.”

On Twitter the Conservative MP said he will be submitting an application for a debate in Parliament to bring this matter directly to the attention of the Home Secretary, Priti Patel.

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