Three Birmingham police stations to close in savings plan

Bob Jones PCC Bob Jones unveiled the plans at a news briefing at Lloyd House

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Three Birmingham police stations are to close along with a number of office buildings as part of £20m annual savings by the force.

The main city centre Steelhouse Lane station will close, as well as stations in Edgbaston and Aston.

Staff from the Steelhouse Lane site and administrative bases in the city will move to the Lloyd House headquarters.

Police and Crime Commissioner Bob Jones said the changes meant "substantial savings" in the longer term.

In February 2012 West Midlands Police announced that it would lose £125m in government funding over four years, and planned to cut 1,100 out of 8,000 officers.

Mr Jones said the force needed to save an additional £20m a year for the foreseeable future, meaning "some critical decisions" had to be made.

'Hugely expensive'

The changes over the next two years will see staff move into Lloyd House, which will be refurbished to increase its capacity by 60%.

Police station in Steelhouse Lane Birmingham Central Police Station and those at Edgbaston and Aston will eventually be sold

Custody facilities will move to new sites in Perry Barr and a "super block" in Sandwell.

Chief Constable Chris Sims said the closure of Edgbaston and Aston stations would not happen for about two years and not until the force had "thoroughly consulted" with the community about the future provision of services.

Tom Cuddeford, from the West Midlands Police Federation, said it was a "very sad situation".

He said: "We sympathise with residents who may have concerns, however we understand that the hands of the PCC and Chief are tied by the financial situation facing them."

The closure of the three stations and administrative bases and renovation of the headquarters will cost about £24m, but the changes will save £17m over the first five years, the force said.

Mr Jones said substantial savings would be made by no longer operating some leasehold buildings which were "hugely expensive" to run.

Lloyd House will become the new police station for central Birmingham in the move the force says will bring officers "into the very heart" of the new business district around Colmore Circus.

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