Wednesfield Police Station Open Letter to Chief Constable.
Open Letter to Chief Constable sent by Wednesfield North & South Joint Labour Party.
Wednesfield North & South Joint Labour Party
Phil Bateman MBE
3a Broad Lane North
Wolverhampton WV12 5UH
West Midlands Police
Dear Chief Constable
Reduction of Hours- Wednesfield Police Station
Last night on the 25th November 2011 Wednesfield North and South Labour Party met.
Amongst the main issues that were discussed was the West Midlands Police Constabulary’s recent decision to reduce the hours that the front desk at Wednesfield Police Station would deal with the Wednesfield public. There was a really good debate around the Police proposals to reduce the opening times when the public can access police services, reducing the current 24 hours, to new opening times of 10.00 to 18.00.
Wednesfield Labour party were concerned that the consultation had been sprung on the public; they listed the following issues as being reasons for retaining the status quo.
• There is a major concern that the trust and confidence that residents require from their police force will be undermined by this particular proposal.
• Wolverhampton tax payers currently pay £7.063m to West Midlands Police each year in the precept payment.
Members felt that within that precept payment which is being raised in Wolverhampton and which Wednesfield residents already pay a substantial share, there is enough revenue to continue to fund the current arrangement.
Members also indicated the following reasons for retention-
1. Consultation period is too short in timescale.
2. There seems to be a complete silence from the Police Authority on this matter.
3. It seems to be a ‘done deal’ and the current consultation being little more than an afterthought.
4. There are no financial statistics available with regard to the ‘savings’ that the Constabulary estimate that the police will make, with the Wednesfield station hours reduction.
5. The Police station is not closing and staff will be on duty, yet the public will not be able to speak with them via the ‘front desk’- leading to further claims that the police are remote from the public they serve.
6. A reduction in hours will lead to difficulties for the Wednesfield taxpayers (that are paying for the police service), at the times when they may need to present themselves at the police station to follow their items of interest.
7. The new arrangements will lead to bigger queues and longer waiting times for Wednesfield taxpayers.
8. Wednesfield tax payers that work shifts or work at a further distance from home will be penalised if they have to present documents or similar to the police, if the 24 hour opening is reduced.
9. It seems that the proposal hits at the very heart of the Constabularies ’Programme Paragon’ which had claimed earlier in the year to wish to ”increase visibility and accessibility”
10. Members felt that the force could utilise the £3.8m that they spent on consultants in 2010 to help offset the cost of continuation of this service.
It is with these issues in mind that Wednesfield North & South Labour Party wishes to challenge the decisions of the Chief Constable, within the consultation that is currently taking place to reduce the public’s access to a major community asset, the police force at Wednesfield Police station. We urge individual residents to indicate their own strength of feeling by joining the consultation.
Indeed we urge our Member of Parliament to raise the issue in Parliament. In the hope that the Chief Constable will listen to residents that fund his force, and their concerns with regard to his decision on reducing access arrangements.
I also attach a petition signed by members who are residents opposing the changes being suggested.
Phil Bateman MBE
Wednesfield North and South Labour Party
Article Date: 26th November 2011