CONSTRUCTION has started on a new, £23.5m communications centre which will aim to improve emergency services across the county.
Situated at the West Mercia Police Headquarters at Hindlip Hall, Worcester, the state-of-the-art Police and Fire Operations Communications Centre (OCC) will provide more effective responses to incidents for Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin.
At a turf cutting ceremony on Friday (October 7) construction on the £23.5 million project was officially started by the Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion, West Mercia Chief Constable Anthony Bangham and Chief Fire Officer Nathan Travis from Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS).
The new building will be shared between the police and the fire service with changes in technology, telecoms, estates and culture, meaning officers and staff can work more efficiently and effectively.
For the public, it will mean improved responses to emergencies and better opportunities to stay up to date on progress.
Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion said: “I promised our communities I would improve police responses and work in partnership to achieve better value for public money.”
“I also promised that I would reform and modernise West Mercia Police, giving its officers and staff the tools to do their jobs more effectively. This project demonstrates how I am delivering on those promises. It is a major step forward for our police and I will ensure this investment delivers the improvements our communities need.”
West Mercia Chief Constable Anthony Bangham said: “The new OCC is a significant milestone in realising our vision for a completely modernised police force.
“This is about more than the building itself, the changes to technology will bring major improvements in our ability to respond to incidents and revolutionise the way our communities can interact with us.
“We are committed to protecting people from harm, and this exciting next step will help us to achieve this and ensure the public gets the right service first time.”