A POLICE station could close in Solihull under proposals announced today.
The ‘public contact’ police office in Homer Road, Solihull, could close its doors after a public consultation was launched.
The West Midlands Police (WMP) and Crime Commissioner (PCC), David Jamieson, has proposed measures to close some police buildings across the region.
He says the plans could save £5million and protect over 100 officer posts while helping to maintain other police buildings.
The PCC’s plans also outline the re-provisioning of public contact offices like the one in Solihull – which he says will not affect bobbys on the beat.
The identified savings will be injected back into frontline policing and public contact offices will be maintained.
It is understood police could share buildings with other public sector bodies such as the fire service or the NHS.
They say the force has, since 2010, lost over 3,000 staff and officers.
Conservative ministers argue funding cuts to police forces can be absorbed by back-office savings without harming frontline crime-fighting.
Mr Jamieson, said: “After £145 million cuts since 2010 and with the level of funding from government being squeezed year on year, I am having to continue to find efficiencies to protect officer numbers.
“Crime is also changing and I need to ensure WMP has an estate that is equipped to help officers and staff respond to those crimes.
“Whilst the threats we face change, the public still need access to their police.
“That is why these proposals ensure that the current number of public contact offices will be maintained.”
The plan would see 24 police properties, owned or occupied by the force, released.
Only two of the twenty four police buildings (one in Solihull) included in the plans are open to the public.
Deputy chief constable Louisa Rolfe said: “Many of these sites have been part of the police estate for a number of years and as such, we understand local communities may feel a connection to specific buildings.
“However, most of our buildings have high running costs, are poorly located and are not fit for future operational purposes.
“It’s important to remember policing is about people not buildings and it is vital we continue to question how much we invest in our estate and continue to maximise the service we provide to our communities.
“No police station will close until a new, more efficient public contact office opens in the local area.
“The force has introduced the latest technology to officers to help in the fight against crime and developed a mobile platform and new apps which allow officers to work more dynamically on the streets − saving them having to go back and forth to stations.”
The PCC will discuss the proposals in public at his Strategic Policing and Crime Board meeting on Tuesday February 20.
A final decision will be made after the Board meets on Tuesday March 20.
Local police commanders will consult communities during a month long engagement period.