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Why we worry about losing Worcestershire police stations
7:17pm Thursday 21st February 2013 in News
COMMUNITIES across the West Mercia police force area will be understandably concerned about plans to close 11 police bases.
Chief Constable David Shaw’s observation that “buildings provide no protection, people do” will cut little ice.
But he has a point. Police, in common with all our public services, have no option but to make austerity savings.
And given the choice of either keeping police stations or losing frontline police officers, most people would choose the latter.
Nevertheless, the loss of a physical police presence is a psychological blow that cannot be underestimated.
West Mercia will have its work cut out persuading communities that they are not being abandoned, and that the police will respond as swiftly and effectively to crime as before.
Worst hit will be small towns and large villages such as Droitwich, Pershore and Broadway, which will lose their traditional police stations. People there will be watching carefully for any impact on crime figures.
Surprisingly, no mention was made at yesterday’s press conference about West Mercia’s sprawling headquarters at Hindlip on the edge of Worcester.
As people lose their police stations they will inevitably begin to question the value of the force’s prime property asset.
Might its sale and a move to cheaper premises save millions and spare painful cuts elsewhere?
It is a question we hope West Mercia has asked of itself.