More than 20 police buildings to be sold off in money-saving drive for cash-strapped force

More than 20 police buildings – including 11 in the Black Country – will be closed down and sold off in a major cost-cutting estates programme.

Aldridge Police Station on Anchor Road will be the first Black Country station to close
Aldridge Police Station on Anchor Road will be the first Black Country station to close

West Midlands Police chiefs have signed off on plans they say will save £5 million a year and clear a £24m maintenance backlog from the cash-strapped force's budget.

In the Black Country seven stations will go as part of the four-year scheme, including Aldridge – which is first to close in Winter 2022 – and Wednesbury, which will go the following Summer.

Oldbury, Smethwick, Tipton and Wednesfield will follow in 2024 and 2025.

Brierley Hill is scheduled to close in Autumn 2024 and be replaced by a new 'super station', which is earmarked for land on Hall Street, Dudley.

Neighbourhood team bases in Dudley's St James's Road, Halesowen and Willenhall will also be axed, as will Windmill House in Smethwick, which is used for learning programmes.

Wednesfield Police Station will be sold off by the Summer of 2023

The move marks the latest in a long line of closures which has seen the region lose dozens of stations and bases over the last decade.

They were put forward by Chief Constable Sir David Thompson and agreed by the region's Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Foster following a review.

The plan has sparked fury among Conservative MPs, who say the closures mean police will become less visible in the community at a time when crime is soaring across the region.

Under the scheme, West Bromwich Police Station will be refurbished and house a number of neighbourhood teams.

Meanwhile force response units will be located in eight hubs, including Wolverhampton, Bloxwich and Dudley.

A new custody hub will be built in Coventry.

Stations in Birmingham to go include the old lock up on Steelhouse Lane, which is being transformed into a heritage centre and museum, and Sutton Coldfield.

Solihull will go by Autumn 2025.

A report to the PCC's strategic board, says: "Re-provision or co-location will be completed before the force disposes of a site and best value will be sought, engaging with partners and the public when a more realistic horizon for disposal exists."

Mr Foster said the changes would help protect officer jobs and that all publicly accessible buildings would remain operational.

The closures had initially been due to start last year but the programme was postponed due to Covid. Labour PCC Mr Foster then ordered a review of the whole plan, which had been signed off by his predecessor David Jamieson in 2018.

Tipton Police Station is set to close by Autumn 2025

Here is the full list of closures in the Black Country:

Dudley

  • Brierley Hill (Autumn 2024)

  • Dudley St James's Road NHT (Autumn 2024)

  • Halesowen NHT (Spring 2025)

Sandwell

  • Oldbury (Summer 2024)

  • Smethwick (Spring 2025)

  • Tipton (Autumn 2025)

  • Wednesbury (Summer 2023)

  • Windmill House, Smethwick (TBC)

Walsall

  • Aldridge (Winter 2022)

  • Willenhall NHT (Winter 2022)

Wolverhampton

  • Wednesfield (Autumn 2025)

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