COVENTRY’S main central police station has won a reprieve following closure proposals.
The front office counter at Little Park Street, city centre, will remain open, at least while the custody suite remains in use, says West Midlands police and crime commissioner David Jamieson.
As expected, three other police sector bases will close with a proposal to sell the buildings – at Tile Hill, Radford and George Pool House (Spon End).
Coventry city councillors and MPs had protested against the proposal to close Little Park Street to the public under regional forcewide plans.
They argued the closure would harm crimefighting and was counter to their ambitions to promote the city centre.
Chief Superintendent Claire Bell, reporting decisions following a public consultation on the prososals, said: “The police and crime commissioner made the decision to close the sector bases at Tile Hill, Radford and George Pool House (Spon End).
“I am unaware at this moment of the timescales for this.
“It was agreed the front office at Coventry Central Police Station would remain open whilst the custody suite is at this station.
“In light of the engagement feedback I have seen I think this is a welcome decision until there is clarity about the rest of the police estate in Coventry”.
The police station in Willenhall will remain open to the public.
Ideas have been mooted to merge some police and fire stations in Coventry.
Proposals remain on the table to close police bases in Foleshill and Bell Green as part of second phase of closures.
The police service in the West Midlands is facing drastic government funding cuts, and has already shed 2,000 officers and civilian staff since the coalition came to power in 2010.
Coventry Labour MP Geoffrey Robinson was among those opposing the closure to the public of Little Park Street.
He had claimedloss of face-to-face contact with police in the city centre would further diminish the service, while many people would face a difficult journey travelling across the city to Willenhall police station.
Forced with having to find drastic savings, the force claims the relationship between the public and West Midlands Police is changing, and research has shown that the vast majority of people prefer to contact the police by telephone.
Shedding buildings does not on its own affect frontline policing, they say.