Front counters at Shrewsbury and Telford’s police stations could close two days a week with opening times reduced on other days under new plans.
Monkmoor Police Station in Shrewsbury and Malinsgate Police Station in Telford are both currently open to the public Monday to Friday between 8am and 6.30pm and 10am-4pm on weekends and bank holidays.
Under the new proposals, the front counters would be closed on Sundays, Mondays and bank holidays. Between Tuesday and Saturday, they would open between 9am and 5pm.
The force says the ways in which the public contact and engage with them is evolving and it’s keen to adapt to the changing needs and ensure an appropriate and efficient service is provided.
A public consultation is running until 25 October to seek the public’s views on the proposed changes.
Assistant Chief Constable Rachel Jones said: “The way in which our communities contact and engage with us continually evolves, with more and more people wanting to speak to us either over the phone or via our digital channels.
“Contacting us online is proving to be a popular and convenient way for people to report a wide range of non-emergency crimes or incidents, apply for firearms licensing, pass on information or concerns and update us on a crime report.
“We want to ensure we continue to operate in line with these changing public expectations. We are seeing reductions in the numbers of people physically coming to police buildings, so it is right that we continue to adapt our digital, online and phone response accordingly.
“It is important to emphasise that this proposal would see the force retain all six of its front counters at Shrewsbury, Telford, Kidderminster, Redditch, Worcester and Hereford with only a reduction in opening hours to ensure consistency of provision across the force.
“In addition, it does not affect police officer numbers, nor the number of police bases we have, and so the public will not experience any difference in police visibility in our communities. We also have other mechanisms in place to contact police officers within our stations.
“It is important we hear your views on these changes as it will help us make a well informed decision. Please take part and tell us what you think through this consultation.”
Following feedback from stakeholders as part of that consultation process, West Mercia Police has temporarily withdrawn the survey to make some revisions and factor in some additional considerations.
Assistant Chief Constable Rachel Jones said: “It really important to us that we hear directly from our communities on proposed service changes, so we are able to make informed decisions.
“As part of the consultation process, we are also listening to the views of stakeholders and partners including the Police and Crime Commissioner, and are taking their views and concerns into consideration.
“We know the ways in which our communities contact and engage with us has changed, with more people using the phone or digital channels and reductions in people physically coming to police buildings.
“We need to ensure we adapt to public need accordingly and are therefore looking at a number of proposals and mechanisms to ensure we meet the differing needs of our diverse communities.
“I want to reassure people, that the current proposal would see the force retain all six of its front counters with only a slight reduction in opening hours. It does not propose to change the services provided by front counter staff, or police officer numbers within the community.”