I write in response to recent articles concerning the police and other emergency service cuts, changes, call it what the authorities will. I would declare an interest being a retired police officer of 30 years service, over 20 in North Shropshire.
We can all note that for years it is always Shrewsbury that matters. Ever noticed in the spring the thousands of flowers around Shrewsbury then look at the other towns?
I mention this to indicate now how resources although paid by the whole county are mostly enjoyed by the residents of Shrewsbury so it is and will be with the emergency services.
A book I read of the history of the county police concentrates on Shrewsbury – always Shrewsbury. The towns and villages of North Shropshire hardly had a mention and Whitchurch two lines, when officers went to a riot at Shrewsbury Flower Show in the 1800s. This caused me to research and eventually, start to write a book covering North Shropshire, I may call it “Policing the Forgotten People”.
I had occasion to contact the local police when I found a wallet which contained identifiable items. I called at the police station. I discovered the front door was locked. I saw two officers inside standing at a window.
I banged the door, the officers looked outside and pointed to a telephone now positioned by the front door. I picked this up and a voice answered stating it was the police at Shrewsbury. I told the person the reason for my visit. She informed me there was no civilian on duty and when I asked why the officers didn’t answer the door she told they didn’t answer the door. I told her I would put the wallet through the letter box they could do what they liked with it.
I pointed out that I had worked in this police station for over 20 years. She replied “things have changed since your day” and ended the call.
With these cuts of police stations and other emergency service closing, north of Shropshire will be even more a forgotten place that it already is.
To councillors who have access to the authorities and to the people who have access to the councillors I send this message. We are losing our ambulances and police and you are doing nothing.
I see officers are now being sent to Warwickshire.
For those thinking of moving to Shrewsbury, a word of caution. With the demise of North Shropshire they may well eventually find when they ring for the police they may get told: “We will send someone when the people of Worcestershire and Warwickshire can spare one.”