West Mercia Police cuts the number of stations with public counters

image captionThe changes will come into effect on 1 September, West Mercia Police said

Front counters will close at 21 police stations and opening hours cut at another six, West Mercia Police has announced.

They will be replaced with an intercom linked to a police operator.

The force said the closures were being made to meet the demands of operating within "tighter financial constraints" following the government's Comprehensive Spending Review.

The changes will come into effect on 1 September, the force said.

West Mercia Police announced in January it would have to make further cuts of £22m over the next five years.

The force has already cut more than 200 jobs and shut police stations as part of plans to save £20.1m by 2015.

Police station front counter changes

  • Closed: Bridgnorth, Bromsgrove, Bromyard, Church Stretton, Droitwich, Kington, Ledbury, Leominster, Ludlow, Malvern, Market Drayton, Oswestry, Peterchurch, Ross-on-Wye, Rubery, Shrewsbury Town, South Wye, Stourport-on-Severn, Wellington, Wem and Whitchurch
  • Reduced hours: Hereford, Kidderminster, Redditch, Telford and Worcester police stations open to the public from 08:00 - 20:00 six days a week and 10:00 - 16:00 on Sunday and bank holidays. Shrewsbury Police Station open from 08:00 - 16:00 from Monday to Friday and 09:00 - 17:00 on Saturday and 10:00 - 16:00 on Sundays and bank holidays

Bill Longmore, police and crime commissioner for West Mercia, said the force needed to make "the most of the resources we have".

"We are currently exploring opportunities to share resources such as front counters with partners wherever possible," he said.

Police said where front counters were being closed, there would be increased patrols, as well as drop-in surgeries, community meetings and forums.

A review found public use of front counters had "reduced significantly", with some having as little as one visitor per day, a force statement said.

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