West Mercia Police Authority Approves New Times For Police Station Public Service Counters

West Mercia Police Authority has approved changes to the opening times of public service counters at stations across the force area.

Proposed new times at most of the 31 public services counters across Herefordshire, Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Worcestershire, were approved at yesterday’s Police Authority meeting.

The changes follow an extensive review of opening hours designed to provide a more consistent service across the whole area.

West Mercia Police has stressed the alterations, which come into effect between March and May, will not reduce the availability of police officers when required.

They are being introduced to provide an improved service, according to demand and policing need, while offering best value for money in the current economic climate.

The changes have been thought through following extensive research, including recent footfall surveys at public service counters and analysis of the purpose behind each visit.

Police officers will remain contactable at any time of the day or night through the 101 non-emergency number or by calling 999 in the case of emergency.

Where opening hours have been reduced, alternatives services will be provided including telephone links outside police stations and information stands providing crime prevention materials.

Chief Superintendent Kevin Purcell said: “The changes 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 hours a day, seven days a week via a variety of contact channels.”

Sheila Blagg, chairman of West Mercia Police Authority, added: “Opening times at each station have been adjusted specifically to fit with local demand.  The resulting bespoke changes minimise their impact on service availability and will not affect the ability of officers to carry out beat duties.”