England

Job losses expected under West Midlands Police's plan for two call centre hubs

Over 100 posts are expected to go under plans by West Midlands Police to create two hubs to handle non-emergency calls.

About 1,000 staff currently answer the calls at 12 sites across the region, with a quarter of them police officers.

It is estimated that 118 full-time equivalent (FTE) posts will go when the hubs at Lloyd House in Birmingham and West Bromwich police station are used.

The changes are set to take effect next year and are designed to help the force save £126m over four years.

It is hoped the two-hub model will save £3.9m in 2014-15 and improve the number of calls answered within the 30-second target which stands at 85% for the year ending May 2012.

Assistant Chief Constable Sharon Rowe said the focus of the changes would be on "delivering an improved service".

ACC Rowe said: "The move to two hubs will provide a more consistent, higher quality, swifter service to the public and further improve the overall efficiency of our call handling.

"It is important to note that these developments include no change to the delivery of local policing through local policing units."

The chair of West Midlands Police Federation, Ian Edwards, said: "This is just another example of police being withdrawn from the community they serve."

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