COUNCIL chiefs have ensured Pershore will keep a police presence in the town after the authority approved plans to buy the former police station.
Wychavon District Council approved plans to buy the former station on Queen Elizabeth Drive a year after West Mercia Police announced plans to sell the site.
The move means officers will continue be available in town and ensure all enquiries will be handled at the front desk of Wychavon’s offices on Queen Elizabeth.
Council leader Coun Paul Middlebrough revealed the news at a meeting of Wychavon’s executive board on Tuesday (October 14).
The debate was scheduled to be held behind closed doors but Coun Middlebrough said it was important the debate was held in public to ensure transparency on the issue.
“We’re pleased that this acquisition and rental agreement will keep a police presence in Pershore.” he said.
“It’s important to residents that local police presence is retained. Enquiries will continue to be handled on our front desk.”
Pershore’s police station was one of 11 bases proposed to close completely under savage cost cutting proposals last year from West Mercia’s Chief Constable David Shaw and Police and Crime Commissioner Bill Longmore.
In a major revamp of policing in West Mercia designed to slash £20.1million from the force’s budget by 2015, the pair proposed the station be put up for sale.
Broadway Police Station was also closed under the plans and staff relocated to Evesham but a new community policing post was opened in the village which will allow officers to keep working with residents.
The changes locally were set to save £1.5 million – the equivalent of 30 police officers or 50 PCSOs.
Speaking at the time, Mr Shaw said: “Our estate will be smaller in the future and this will release money to pay for our workforce and other resources that deliver protection.
“Crime levels are down and public confidence in policing is good. Response times will remain at the excellent level they
currently are and we will also be moving towards officers using increased mobile technology.
“This will enable them to remain on the streets for longer and not have to return to base to check systems. This increased visibility and patrol time is better for our communities.”