Work to open two new Community Police Stations on the Wirral will get underway after local people gave the locations their backing in a public consultation, the region’s Police Commissioner has today announced.
Jane Kennedy has thanked Wirral residents after they showed their support for the proposed locations for two new Community Police Stations in the Conway Centre in Birkenhead and the Carrbridge Community Centre on the Woodchurch Estate.
People living on the Wirral were invited to have their say on the location of the stations through an online survey, while Councillors, MPs and key partners were also asked for their feedback on the proposed sites.
The consultation, which ran for nearly three weeks, closed with more than 82.5% of respondents expressing their approval for a new Community Police Station in the Conway Centre which will replace the former access point in the Pyramids Shopping Centre, which has not been staffed since 2011. The centre already houses a One Stop Shop which holds public advice surgeries, has computers for council and partner services and appointments with a NHS trainer.
More than 77% of people agreed with the PCC’s proposals to open a new station in the Carrbridge Community Centre on the Woodchurch Estate, to replace Upton Police Station, which has been closed to the public since 2012. The Carrbridge Community Centre is already a vibrant hub which provides training, advice and guidance services, access to IT facilities and a space for conferences, meetings and private functions.
Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy said: “I would like to thank everyone who took the time to respond to this consultation and share their views on the location of these two new Community Police Stations.
“It is clear from the results that the vast majority of respondents are pleased at the prospect of having a new Community Police Station opened in their area, giving them regular access to their neighbourhood police team in an easily accessible location.
“I am not hiding the fact that these changes are being driven by austerity. We need to reduce our annual running costs in order to protect officers’ jobs and making these changes will enable us to save £2.5m every year on running the police estate – that means protecting 65 police officer jobs.
“The results of this consultation show that people recognise the impact of the cuts and appreciate that we are trying to deliver the best possible service with the resources we have.”
Community Police Stations are designed to be smaller in size, but accessible and visible bases which will enable neighbourhood officers and PCSOs to work in the heart of the communities they serve. They will be opened on a regular, but not continuous basis, and will include public meeting rooms and facilities from which officers can parade on. They will not house any custody suites or cells.
Community Police Stations are a key element of the Commissioner’s over-arching 10-year investment plan which aims to modernise and update Merseyside Police’s ageing network of stations and facilities, saving £2.5m in annual running costs which can be used to protect frontline officer jobs.
Image: Top right the Conway Centre, middle left the Carrbridge Community Centre