Police Counters to Close in September

First published in News by

THE front counters at all the market town police stations in Herefordshire are

to close next month, including in Ledbury Station, off the Worcester Road.

West Mercia Police has confirmed the desks at Bromyard, Kington, Ledbury, Leominster and Ross on-Wye will be removed from the beginning of September and replaced with an intercom system, connecting the public to a "call-taker"

For Ledbury Town Councillor and trader, Annette Crowe, who has been instrumental in re-establishing regular PACT meetings in Ledbury, the decision sends out "the wrong signal".

She said: "It is extremely disappointing. Elderly people, for instance, are not happy talking to an intercom and if something has happened to upset them, they need the personal contact."

Ledbury Town Councillor Martin Eager believes the changes will not matter, because the existing service is so "diabolical".

He said: "This won't make any difference. I've been up there several times, when my car has been vandalised, or because of an accident, and it hasn't been open.

"You ring the bell and sometimes someone will see you; but there is no proper counter service. The service we are about to get will be no better or worse than the one we've had for several years, - diabolical."

The force says the move is part of a “more modern and effective way” of operating

its services.

“I was involved in keeping

these stations open,” said

Bernard Hunt, a town councillor

in Bromyard.

“It is a sad reflection

of how these cost-cutting

measures have been

brought in.

“I think it proves theorth of the outgoing police

authority and shows

the next to useless role of

the police commissioner.”

Bill Longmore, the police

and crime commissioner

for West Mercia, said he

was keen to keep police officers

accessible to people.

“We are currently exploring

opportunities to share

resources such as front

counters with partners

wherever possible,” he

added. “Strengthening the

police’s relationships with

people is important and I

hope that these changes

will give people a wider opportunity

to connect with

them should they need to.”

Police bosses say they

have seen the number of

people using front desks

drop recently.

“Our review will close

some public counters

across West Mercia but our

analysis of demand has

provided evidence which

has allowed us to take these

steps without impacting

the level of service,” added

chief superintendent

Amanda Blakeman, who

led a review into “public

contact and front counter

provision” which prompted

the decision.

“There are a range of

methods for public contact

and service including calling

101, the introduction of

24/7 contact points at stations

to connect callers to

the police, 115 Safer Neighbourhood

Teams, monthly

community meetings and

drop-in surgeries.”

The police say areas where

front counters close will

see Safer Neighbourhood

Teams step up patrols as

well as increasing community

meetings and forums.

Hereford’s front desk at

the station on Bath Street

will remain open from 8am-

8pm six days a week and

10am-4pm on Sunday and

bank holidays.

Comments (5)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

4:51pm Fri 15 Aug 14

x-entricity says...

Well what service do they provide now? Never see them around Ross anymore and I expect all the other county towns are much the same.
Well what service do they provide now? Never see them around Ross anymore and I expect all the other county towns are much the same. x-entricity
  • Score: 4

4:59pm Fri 15 Aug 14

Ubique1 says...

Wondering what has happened to the Support Staff that worked on theses desks , have they been made redundant ,moved to other roles or was it natural wastage ?

I can understand why some of the Front Office Counters have been closed but I do not like seeing folk made redundant .
Wondering what has happened to the Support Staff that worked on theses desks , have they been made redundant ,moved to other roles or was it natural wastage ? I can understand why some of the Front Office Counters have been closed but I do not like seeing folk made redundant . Ubique1
  • Score: 2

5:19pm Fri 15 Aug 14

RogerLFC says...

'Police bosses say they have seen the number of people using front desks drop recently.'

Maybe people just assume these town counters will be shut and so just don't bother? Plus the one at the newish Leominster station is hardly within walking distance of the town centre ...
'Police bosses say they have seen the number of people using front desks drop recently.' Maybe people just assume these town counters will be shut and so just don't bother? Plus the one at the newish Leominster station is hardly within walking distance of the town centre ... RogerLFC
  • Score: 3

5:57pm Fri 15 Aug 14

greenknight says...

Have to question. the purpose of the shiny new Leominster Station other than providing a cracking view from the top office of speeding motorcyclists on the A49 @ weekends!
Have to question. the purpose of the shiny new Leominster Station other than providing a cracking view from the top office of speeding motorcyclists on the A49 @ weekends! greenknight
  • Score: 4

11:57am Sat 16 Aug 14

basil jones says...

Rather pathetic. If there is an intercom system surely there is going to be someone on the other end ? Not too logical to take them from the front desk. Maybe dial 1 for emergency,2 for information,3 for a policeperson or hold on for the receptionist. This call is important to us.
Rather pathetic. If there is an intercom system surely there is going to be someone on the other end ? Not too logical to take them from the front desk. Maybe dial 1 for emergency,2 for information,3 for a policeperson or hold on for the receptionist. This call is important to us. basil jones
  • Score: -1

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