Archive for February 13, 2012

Police Public Service Counter Review

West Mercia Police has reviewed the opening hours of its public service counters in an effort to give a more consistent service across the force area.

The aim is that the 31 public service counters across Herefordshire, Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Worcestershire will give an improved service according to demand and policing need.

The West Mercia Police Authority meets tomorrow (Tues 14 February) to decide whether it is going to vote in favour of the proposals.

If the revised plans do get the green light the public will benefit from a wide range of opening hours, including evenings and weekends.

Chief Superintendent Kevin Purcell said: “The change to public service counter opening times will not affect local policing and all police stations will remain operational. We want to make sure we offer a good service to the public and be as accessible as possible. Visiting your local police station front counter in person is not the only way to get in touch with us.

“West Mercia Police is available 24 hrs a day, seven days a week via a variety of contact channels. You can ring 101 for non-emergencies and 999 if you need us more urgently. Contact can also be made through the force website and you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter.”

It is important to stress there are no plans to make any staff redundant as part of the review. The changes would take place between March and May this year.

Sheila Blagg, chairman of West Mercia Police Authority, said: “West Mercia Police Authority and the force are committed to delivering efficient and effective policing. We face further budget reductions in 2012/13 and have addressed these by seeking to improve efficiency while maintaining front line police officer services. Front counter opening hours form part of our plans for improved efficiencies.

“The first phase of a review of police station front counter opening hours has now been completed and the authority is asked to recommend the proposed changes to opening hours on 14 February.

“The review has concentrated on offering opening times that fit with peaks in service demand alongside staff levels. Opening times at each station have been adjusted specifically to fit with local demand. The resulting bespoke service changes minimise their impact on service availability and will not affect the ability of officers to carry out beat duties.”

As part of the review the force has carried out extensive research, including speaking to other forces. Where opening hours have been reduced alternative services will be provided including telephone links outside police stations and information stands which provide crime prevention materials.

Every Local Policing Team can be contacted by e-mail, voicemail, at local events and surgeries, Partners and Communities Together (PACT) meetings and via diary appointments which are available at the police station.To check who your local policing team is visit the force website

Escaped Prisoner John Anslow – Suit And Car Appeal


John Anslow

Officers searching for prisoner John Anslow have issued an identical image of the prison suit he was wearing in a bid for more witnesses to come forward.

They are also able to release more details of the car he escaped in and the route it took.

Anslow (31) escaped from a prison escort van close to HMP Hewell Grange, in Tardebigge, near Bromsgrove, three weeks ago today – Monday, 23 January, at 8.20am.

A £10,000 reward has been offered for information that leads to his arrest and return to prison.

Anslow was wearing a bright blue and yellow prison suit when he escaped, which may have been discarded on or since 23 January.

The offenders used a silver VW Scirocco – registration BT59 NXC – before abandoning it and switching to a silver Mercedes.  Detectives are also now able to confirm that the Mercedes was a grey C63 AMG Estate and give more details about the route it took. They have also issued an image of a similar Mercedes car.

The silver Mercedes

After the prison van was attacked, the Mercedes travelled north along the B4096 Hewell Lane onto Alcester Road to the M42 Junction 1 island. It then carried on the B4096 on the Old Birmingham Road towards the Lickey Hills, travelled down Rose Hill and turned left into Lickey Road in Cofton Hackett.

Officers want to speak to anyone who saw the Mercedes or any other suspicious vehicles or activity in the days before the crime – particularly between Friday 20 and Monday 23 January – in the Tardebigge area or surrounding localities including Alvechurch, Blackwell and Barnt Green.

Anslow, who is from the Tipton area, was charged before his escape with the murder of Richard Deakin in Chasetown, Staffordshire, in July 2010.  Four other men have also been charged with murder.

Clothing similar to that worn by escaped prisoner John AnslowDet Supt Wayne Jones, from Staffordshire Police, said: “We’re determined to catch Anslow and a dedicated team of detectives are following several lines of inquiry.

“A substantial reward of £10,000 remains on offer for anyone who can give us information that leads to Anslow’s arrest and return to prison.

“We’ve had over 100 calls from across the country so far and are continuing to liaise with other forces and agencies nationwide. Our officers are working closely with colleagues at West Mercia and West Midlands police forces.

“We’re particularly keen to speak to anyone who saw the Mercedes on Monday 23 January or any suspicious activity in the areas surrounding the prison during the weekend before.

“We’re also need to talk to people who may’ve seen Anslow in the distinctive prison suit – or the discarded suit itself after the incident.

“All calls to police will be treated in the strictest confidence. Anyone with information should ring on 01785 232503. Alternatively, they can call the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.”

Three men who were wearing balaclavas, two of whom were carrying sledgehammers, smashed the windscreen and driver’s window of the GEO Amey prison escort van on Monday 23 January.

A 44-year-old man who was arrested on 23 January on suspicion of assisting an offender remains on police bail.

Anyone who sees Anslow, who is considered to be very dangerous, should not approach him but should dial 999 immediately.