Merseyside’s Police Commissioner is asking people living on the Wirral to give her their views on where they would like their local police station to be located.
Jane Kennedy has identified the first four venues where new Community Police Stations could be located and she is now asking people for their feedback.
In each of the areas – Hoylake, Moreton, Birkenhead and Rock Ferry – modern, accessible Community Police Stations will replace old, inefficient stations which are now closed to the public.
The proposals are part of the Commissioner’s 10-year investment plan which aims to modernise Merseyside Police’s stations and facilities. The proposals were unveiled by the PCC and Merseyside Police Chief Constable Sir Jon Murphy last October when they launched a two-month, pan-Merseyside consultation which included an online survey, community road shows and public meetings. The proposals received overwhelming support, with 92% of respondents giving their support.
At the heart of the proposals was the creation of a network of modern, accessible Community Police Stations across Merseyside, which would see police officers and PCSO’s co-located in busy neighbourhood hubs alongside partners.
Following the success of this consultation, the PCC is now in a position to reveal the proposed locations for the first four Community Police Stations on the Wirral. They are:
- Hoylake Community Centre, 31 Hoyle Road – to replace the closed police station in Hoylake
- Moreton Library / One Stop Shop, Pasture Road – to replace the closed station in Moreton
- St. James Centre, 344 Laird Street – to replace the closed Laird Street Station
- The Rock Ferry Centre, 259 Old Chester Road, Rock Ferry – to replace the old Well Lane Police Station
These proposed sites will see Community Police Stations co-located with libraries, One Stop Shops, Citizens Advice Bureaus and family services and be part of the overall plan to save money on running costs in order to redirect approximately a £2.5million a year straight back into the police budget to pay for additional officers.
Now the PCC wants to find out if local people agree that these are the best locations for the new Community Police Stations.
Jane said: “I was overwhelmed by the support people showed for these proposals when I unveiled them last year. It was clear people were genuinely enthusiastic about the prospect of having a modern Community Police Station that would be regularly open to them in the heart of their community.
“Now I’m asking people on the Wirral to have their say on exactly where they would like their local police station to be located.
“I think we’ve picked four excellent locations which will see Merseyside Police neighbourhood teams based in really central venues, in buildings which are already busy neighbourhood hubs serving the local community. Now I want to hear the views of local people and whether they agree.
“It is vital we put these Community Police Stations in the best place for the people they serve so I really want people to let me know if we’ve got it right.”
The consultation will run until 5pm on the Friday, August 14th, and the PCC will then review the feedback to see whether local people are happy for her to proceed with the new stations.
Merseyside Police’s estate currently consists of 78 buildings, with an average age of 52 years, and some dating as far back as 1890. It currently costs more than £12m to run the estate each year and, due to the age and inefficiency of the existing buildings, that figure is
rising. By putting her proposals in place the Commissioner can reduce the running costs by £2.5m every year – enough to keep an extra 65 police officers on the beat.
Jane said: “These proposals are about ensuring Merseyside Police is in the best possible position to serve the public and fight crime today and in the future.
“While these proposals are driven by the need to save money and protect officer’s jobs, they have provided a unique opportunity to improve our stations and buildings and make Merseyside Police even more accessible to people in our region. The reality is that these changes are long overdue.”
Jane added that further consultations will be launched as additional sites in Wirral, and across Merseyside, are identified.