Cutbacks hit Shropshire police station front desks

Front counter services are being axed at nine rural police stations, while opening hours at one of  Shropshire's main bases are being slashed.

From September, Shrewsbury police station will have its opening hours reduced, while a further nine stations will have their front counter service replaced with "contact points".

The contact points will be able to connect the public to a police call taker 24/7 via telephone intercom.

Shrewsbury police station's front counter in Monkmoor will be open to the public from 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm on Saturdays, and from 10am to 4pm on Sundays and bank holidays. It is currently open until 8pm Monday to Saturday.

Bridgnorth, Church Stretton, Ludlow, Market Drayton, Oswestry, Shrewsbury Town, Wellington, Wem and Whitchurch police stations will no longer have front counter provision but contact points installed.

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Telford police station has escaped cuts to opening hours with its front counter remaining open to the public from 8am to 8pm six days a week and from 10am to 4pm on Sundays and bank holidays.

The changes are being introduced by West Mercia Police, which said the closures were being made to meet the demands of operating within "tighter financial constraints" following the government's Comprehensive Spending Review.

Bill Longmore, Police and Crime Commissioner for West Mercia, said: "The police must be accessible to people. I am keen to explore how we can continue to do this in a way that suits the different communities we have in West Mercia, whilst making the most of the resources we have."

The changes will come into effect on September 1.

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