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Bringing police presence back into Shifnal a 'priority' for the council

By Rory Smith | Shifnal | Crime | Published:

Bringing a police presence back into Shifnal is the priority for the council as it opens up a new community hub, said the town clerk.

Initial discussions between the council and West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) have begun for officers to be based in the old police station once it reopens next week.

Having closed in 2015 as part of a number of station closures made by the force, more than £125,000 has been spent refurbishing the building, which is now set to host a community cafe and gardens, function rooms and advice centre.

There are also plans to house the town's CCTV system in the building as well as the potential to create a space for a community bus service, while the top floor is being commercially let to a local company.

Denise Reynolds, Shifnal Town Clerk, said: "Our discussions with the police and crime commissioner at the moment are to see what type of police presence may be possible to get in there.

"Nothing is confirmed but we are very much in the discussion stage.

"There's various different organisations that we're talking to and would like to get into the new centre but to bring a police presence back into Shifnal is our priority at the moment."

The station, off Tudor Way, first closed its doors as part of scheme which saved West Mercia Police about £1 million annually.

PCC John Campion confirmed discussions had begun to look at basing a number of officers in the building.

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He said: “In order to give the best possible service to the public, it’s important that police buildings are appropriately located to serve the communities, are fit for policing purposes and run as efficiently as possible.

"Sharing with other services, such as local authorities, is a great way of achieving this, with the added bonus of improved collaborative working.

"Following the refurbishment of Shifnal Town Council's building, we, along with the local policing team, are in early discussions around co-location to see how and if, this can happen. Any decisions will be made for the benefit of local communities.”

The initiative to reopen the premises as a community centre has been partly funded by the council as well as a Leader Project, financed by the Rural Development Programme for England with contributions from The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

A grand opening event of the community hub will run from 11am to 2pm on Friday, August 16.

Rory Smith

By Rory Smith
Reporter - @rorysmith_star

Trainee news reporter based at the Shropshire Star's Ketley office in Telford.

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