By Harriet Ernstsons Thursday 17 January 2013 Updated: 17/01 15:56
REDDITCH Police Station could be sold off as part of a range of cost-cutting measures.
Among the options being considered is the sale of the existing Grove Street base in the town centre, although no plans have been finalised as yet.
The Standard revealed in November Redditch Fire Station could also be on the move and one of the options open to police could see officers share a building with firefighters, something which has already happened in Bromsgrove.
A spokeswoman for West Mercia Police said they were continuing to explore various options for the station to identify opportunities with the 'potential for joint and collaborative use of public assets'.
"A partnership with the fire service around a shared building is an option for Redditch Police Station, but there are no firm plans in place at this stage," she said.
"Under plans for the alliance between Warwickshire and West Mercia police forces, the exact
modelling of patrol bases across the two force areas is yet to be determined, however both forces will continue to deploy 24/7 patrol officers and staff from strategically placed locations in order to provide the most efficient and effective service possible to the public."
Police and Crime Commissioner Bill Longmore added: "The estate will be looked at but any changes will be designed to maximise the effectiveness of police service provision. No decisions on estate changes have yet been made but revision and modernisation of the estate has always been a regular process."
But Redditch MP Karen Lumley said she would 'massively oppose' any proposal which would see the station relocated outside of the town centre.
"It is one of the big three stations in the region and it is vital we keep it in the town centre," she said.
"Lots of people haven't got cars to get to places and whenever you're looking at resource you always have to keep transport links high on the agenda and keep services accessible.
"People need to know where they can go and I think having the current station also keeps a visible police presence in the town centre and makes people feel safer.
"I would want the new police commissioner to look very carefully at Redditch Police Station."
During a live webcast on Tuesday (January 15), Chief Constable David Shaw said he was aware the issue at the forefront of people's minds was whether or not they would have a station and what its opening hours would be.
He admitted there would be a reduction in the total number of buildings used by the force - which could see Wythall Police Station considered for closure, although no stations were specifically mentioned during the debate.
Mr Shaw said he could not defend some stations only being used two or three times a day for 'low level things' when the money could be used to put police on the streets.
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