Shropshire Star

Most think police building plans would make it harder to access services - survey

More than half of respondents to a survey by West Mercia's police and crime commissioner disagreed that proposals for police buildings would make it easier to access police services.

West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion

Findings from the survey, set out by West Mercia Police's PCC John Campion, have today been revealed – and 197 responses were gathered from local communities.

The consultation was open to communities across West Mercia to have their say on proposed plans for police buildings over the coming years – to provide a local and accessible police service.

Respondents answered a series of questions, including whether they felt the proposed strategy would make it easier to access police services and the importance of reinvesting savings made on buildings into operational policing.

The draft estates strategy included plans for new projects to be progressed such as the delivery of a northern policing hub for Shrewsbury and Telford.

Now, the responses have been published, and Mr Campion has thanked everyone who took their time to complete the estates survey.

More than half, 56 per cent, of respondents disagreed that the strategy would make it easier to access police services.

But, more than half of respondents, 53 per cent, agreed that savings made on buildings should be reinvested into frontline policing.

And the vast majority, 78 per cent, also agreed that police and partners should be working together, where possible, to achieve good value for money.

Only 33 per cent of people said they felt reassured that police stations would not be closed until an alternative had been provided and agreed with the community.

However, Mr Campion has made it clear that no police stations in West Mercia will be closed unless a suitable replacement is available within the same community.

He has also said that he is committed to improving the accessibility and visibility of police officers and in August, pledged to get more police on the beat.

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PCC John Campion said: “Thank you to everyone who completed my estates survey.

"I am the first ever police and crime commissioner to consult on their draft estate strategy, and I did so because I wanted you to have your say in how policing properties and infrastructure are being re-shaped to improve services you receive in the future.

“As the voice of the public in policing, I will continue to have conversations with West Mercia Police about their requirements and use all the feedback gathered through this consultation to shape the final estates strategy.