Birmingham & Black Country

West Midlands Police call centres merged

Lloyd House, Birmingham
Image caption Non-emergency 101 calls are being dealt with at Lloyd House in Birmingham and West Bromwich Police Station

Police call centres in the West Midlands have been merged in a move expected to save £3.9m.

Until recently non-emergency calls on the 101 number have been dealt with by 10 centres across the force area.

From Tuesday they will now all be answered at two bases - West Bromwich Police Station and the main force headquarters at Lloyd House.

The force said it would improve standards and release more officers for frontline duties.

When the merger was first announced 18 months ago it was expected to lead to the equivalent of 118 job cuts.

The force overall has seen 2,000 posts cut since 2010, although last month Police and Crime Commissioner Bob Jones released plans to recruit 550 officers and civilian staff by 2016.

Head of the call handling operation Ch Supt James Andronov said the merger of operations was expected to lead to a more consistent approach and see a "gradual increase in standards".

He said the changes, which will only affect 101 calls, also meant new training and technology that would store information about repeat callers.

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