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Details of police station closures to be announced on Thursday
POLICE and Crime Commissioner Bill Longmore has vowed to retain a strong policing presence in areas where police stations are axed.
Mr Longmore and his deputy Barry Sheldon have been reviewing all stations across Worcestershire and will tomorrow announce which are being chopped to save cash.
Fears have been voiced about the future of police stations in Droitwich and Evesham while there have also been rumours that major changes could be on the way in Malvern, Pershore, Upton and Tenbury.
The pair made an appearance in front of Malvern Hills District councillors last night, when they admitted that difficult decisions would have to be made, with West Mercia and Warwickshire police forces facing combined cuts of £31 million by 2015.
But they stressed their belief that the cuts “should not come at the expense of frontline policing” and that a priority was having more “bobbies on the beat”.
Part of this will see officers equipped with new equipment, similar to tablet computers, that will see them having to spend less time filing paperwork in police stations.
Mr Longmore said: “Difficult decisions are being made but generally we are looking at keeping a police presence in areas.
“It might not be in a police station but it will be somewhere. I don’t want to take the police presence out of areas.”
He also revealed that smaller rural communities could see more special constables - part time volunteer police officers - being trained up to handle their policing needs.
Tomorrow's announcement will also see existing Local Policing Teams re-packaged as “Safer Neighbourhood Teams”, Mr Sheldon revealed.