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West Mercia Police says it intends to deliver its policing services under what the force terms a ‘strategic alliance’ with Warwickshire Police.
The announcement of the new policing model focused on where officers will be based, the buildings they will work out of and the function of those premises. This followed a review of all the buildings and operational sites used by the force, which are also places where members of police staff work from.
As part of the review, it has been recommended that the control room in the north of the force area (based in Battlefield, near Shrewsbury) is relocated to the force’s southern control room at force HQ, Hindlip.
The move from Shrewsbury to Hindlip will affect around 84 members of staff who are employed as supervisors, call handlers and communications operators.
Head of Operation Support Command, Chief Superintendent Trevor Albutt, said: “It is important to realise that currently, wherever you call us from in the force area, your call will be directed to the next available operator in either of our control rooms.
“So, if you live in Shrewsbury for example, your call may be picked up by a member of staff in Hindlip, as has been the case for a number of years.
“This planned move will see absolutely no change in the level of service the public currently receive; as staff will be doing exactly the same job they did before, just in a different location.
“It has long been established that control rooms no longer need to be geographically based and changes in technology now allow us to consolidate in one location in the form of a single control room.
“We would also like to stress that this move is only a recommendation at this stage and this decision is still subject to approval by Chief Officers. All staff will be given the option to move to the control room at Hindlip – or given other employment opportunities within the force – and any potential relocation is scheduled to happen by 2015.”
*As a result of the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review, West Mercia Police needs to identify £20.1m in savings by 2015.
West Mercia says that the alliance with Warwickshire Police provides the force with a greater opportunity to protect frontline policing resources by doing things once, sharing assets and ensuring our processes are lean and effective.