WEST Mercia Police has paused a public consultation as it looks to cut the opening hours of its front counter at Hereford police station.

The force proposed on Monday that it changed the opening hours at six stations across the area, including Hereford's in Bath Street.

But 48 hours later it paused the public questionnaire after concerns were raised.

The initial proposal would see the front counters at the Monkmoor, Shrewsbury, Malinsgate, Telford, Hereford, Kidderminster, Redditch and Worcester stations cut.

Current opening hours are 8am until 6.30pm Monday to Friday, and 10am until 4pm on weekends and bank holidays.

But West Mercia Police said that due to changing ways of the public getting in touch with police, it wanted to change.

On Monday, when the consultation was first announced before later being paused, the force said counter would not be open on Sundays and Monday, and only from 9am until 5pm from Tuesdays to Saturdays.

Announcing it was reconsidering its stance, West Mercia Police Assistant Chief Constable Rachel Jones said it was really important that she heard directly from the public on proposed changes in order to make "informed decisions".

She said the concerns of "stakeholders and partners" were being listened to, including those of the police and crime commissioner John Campion.

“We know the ways in which our communities contact and engage with us has changed, with more people using the phone or digital channels and reductions in people physically coming to police buildings," she added.

“We need to ensure we adapt to public need accordingly and are therefore looking at a number of proposals and mechanisms to ensure we meet the differing needs of our diverse communities.

“I want to reassure people, that the current proposal would see the force retain all six of its front counters with only a slight reduction in opening hours.

"It does not propose to change the services provided by front counter staff, or police officer numbers within the community.”