By Gary Smee Thursday 28 February 2013 Updated: 04/03 09:09
A NUMBER of police bases will close and several others will be relocated as part of a major revamp of policing in the region.
West Mercia's Chief Constable, David Shaw, and Police and Crime Commissioner, Bill Longmore, unveiled a swathe of changes at the force's headquarters at Hindlip Park last Thursday (February 21) as it looks to save £20.1million by 2015.
Throughout the region the number of stations where police officers are based to respond to emergency calls will be slashed from 30 to 11 and the number of Safer Neighbourhood Teams (SNT) made up of a local police officer supported by PCSOs, special constables and volunteers will be cut to 82.
Bromsgrove will be getting a new joint police and fire station, while bases at Buntsford Gate and WMAS Bromsgrove will be closed and moved into the new police station.
The Hagley and Wythall stations will close with Rubery retaining its SNT base. The SNT teams from Wythall and Hagley will then be based in Rubery with a community policing post opening there.
The changes to the buildings across the force area will save £1.5 million - the equivalent of 30 police officers or 50 PCSOs.
Mr Shaw moved to reassure people officers would still be available 24/7.
"Our estate will be smaller in the future and this will release money to pay for our workforce and other resources that deliver protection," he said.
"Crime levels are down and public confidence in policing is good. Response times will remain at the excellent level they currently are and we will also be moving towards officers using increased mobile technology. This will enable them to remain on the streets for longer and not have to return to base to check systems. This increased visibility and patrol time is better for our communities."
"With strong leadership and the confidence we have in our new approach we will ensure West Mercia remains a safe place to live and work."
Ch Cons Shaw added communities which were considered to be a priority would also have access to extra resources under the changes.
Police and Crime Commissioner Bill Longmore said he had worked very closely with Ch Cons Shaw on the plan.
"Now this plan has been presented to me I will be seeking feedback from communities to ensure it is entirely fit for meeting the needs of those who live, work and visit West Mercia.
"It is vital to remember at this time that every pound saved on our estate means more money to protect people from harm."
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