Merseyside’s Police Commissioner is asking people living on the Wirral to give her their views on proposals for two new community police stations.
Jane Kennedy has identified two venues where new Community Police Stations could be located in Birkenhead and on the Woodchurch Estate and she is now asking people for their feedback.
In both areas, the Commissioner wants to open modern, accessible Community Police Stations to replace old, inefficient and expensive stations which are already closed to the public, saving money on running costs which can be put into frontline policing.
The proposals are part of the Commissioner’s 10-year investment plan which aims to modernise Merseyside Police’s stations and facilities, while reducing the annual cost of running them. At the heart of the strategy is the creation of a network of modern, accessible Community Police Stations across Merseyside, which will see police officers and PCSO’s co-located with other organisations in busy neighbourhood hubs.
Four community police stations are already open across the Wirral offering people access to their local policing teams in busy shared centres in Hoylake, Moreton Library and One Stop Shop, the St James Centre in Laird Street and the Rock Ferry Centre.
Now the PCC wants to find out if local people agree that the best locations for two new Community Police Stations in Birkenhead and the Woodchurch Estate are:
- The Conway Centre on Conway Street - to replace the access point in the Pyramids Shopping Centre which has not been staffed since 2011.
- The Conway Centre (pictured above) already boasts a One Stop Shop for Birkenhead which holds public advice surgeries, has computers for council and partner services and appointments with a NHS trainer.
- Carrbridge Community Centre, Woodchurch Estate (pictured below) – to replace Upton Police Station which has been closed since to the public January 2012 - a vibrant community centres which provides training, advice and guidance services, access to IT facilities and a space for conferences, meetings and private functions.
Jane said: “Four Community Police Stations are already in operation on the Wirral, helping to make neighbourhood policing teams more accessible to local people.
“We are now in a position to offer the same kind of service to people living in Birkenhead and on the Woodchurch Estate and so I want to ask local people to have their say on exactly where they would like their local police station to be located.
“I think we’ve found two excellent locations which will see Merseyside Police neighbourhood teams based in really central venues, in buildings which are already busy local hubs serving their communities.
“It is vital we put these Community Police Stations in the best place for the people they serve so I really want people to let me know if we’ve got it right.”
The Commissioner’s proposals to modernise Merseyside Police’s stations and buildings to save money on running costs were first unveiled in October 2014. At that time, Merseyside Police’s estate consisted of 78 buildings, with an average age of 52 years, and some dating as far back as 1890, costing more than £12m to run each year.
Due to the age and inefficiency of the existing buildings, that figure was rising every year. By putting her proposals in place the Commissioner can reduce the running costs by £2.5m every year – enough to keep an extra 65 police officers on the beat.
Jane said: “These proposals are about ensuring Merseyside Police is in the best possible position to serve the public and fight crime today and in the future.
“While these proposals are driven by the need to save money and protect officer’s jobs, they have provided a unique opportunity to improve our stations and buildings and make Merseyside Police even more accessible to people in our region. The reality is that these changes are long overdue.”
Further consultations will be launched as additional sites in Wirral, and across Merseyside, are identified.