England

West Mercia Police need to 'adapt' to station closures

West Mercia Police will need to adapt the way it works when it finally decides which stations are to close, the force's federation chair has said.

About 33 properties could be axed under plans to avoid cutting some jobs and to save £1.5m.

Police and Crime Commissioner Bill Longmore will publish his review of the plans, which have been the subject of an open consultation, next week.

Federation chief Ken Mackaill wants officers to embrace new technology.

Mr Mackaill said the need for change had come about because the force was left with little option but to close some of its stations.

More technology

He said: "We've been left with a stark choice between closing buildings or cutting police officer numbers and I don't see any point in keeping buildings open if we don't have the officers to patrol from them.

"There will be a greater emphasis on the use of technology.

"Things like a GPS system in police cars so control rooms know where the nearest resource is and mobile working from vehicles for officers.

"But we do have a massive geographical area to cover and shifts change three times every day.

"Officers have to return to their main base so from that point of view the service is being reduced."

The stations under threat of closure are spread across Shropshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

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