West Mercia Police station public counters replaced

Image caption An intercom will link members of the public to the West Mercia Police control room

Front counters at 21 West Mercia police stations have been replaced with intercoms linked to a control centre.

The opening hours have been cut at another six police stations.

The force said the closures were being made to meet the demands of operating within "tighter financial constraints" following the government's Comprehensive Spending Review.

Supt Mark Travis said the closures were "an efficient use of resources" as fewer people are using front counters.

A review found some front counters had as little as one visitor per day, a force statement said.

"The intercom is linked to our force control room and if there is an emergency situation an officer will be dispatched in exactly the same way as if they went to a front counter," Mr Travis said.

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Police station front counter changes

  • Closed: Bridgnorth, Bromsgrove, Bromyard, Church Stretton, Droitwich, Kington, Ledbury, Leominster, Ludlow, Malvern, Market Drayton, Oswestry, Peterchurch, Ross-on-Wye, Rubery, Shrewsbury Town, South Wye, Stourport-on-Severn, Wellington, Wem and Whitchurch
  • Reduced hours: Hereford, Kidderminster, Redditch, Telford and Worcester police stations open to the public from 08:00 - 20:00 six days a week and 10:00 - 16:00 on Sunday and bank holidays. Shrewsbury Police Station open from 08:00 - 16:00 from Monday to Friday and 09:00 - 17:00 on Saturday and 10:00 - 16:00 on Sundays and bank holidays

West Mercia Police announced in January it would have to make further cuts of £22m over the next five years.

The force has already cut more than 200 jobs and shut police stations as part of plans to save £20.1m by 2015.

Police said where front counters were being closed, there would be increased patrols, as well as drop-in surgeries, community meetings and forums.

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