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 http://www.westmercia.police.uk/ 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 http://www.westmercia.police.uk