Closing police station will not mean fewer bobbies on the beat, pledges councillor

A senior councillor has pledged that shutting down a town's police station will not result in less bobbies on the beat.

Wednesfield Police Station is set to close down
Wednesfield Police Station is set to close down

Wednesfield is to lose its police station by 2025 after the force's latest mass closure plan was rubber-stamped by Labour Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Foster.

Wolverhampton councillor Bhupinder Gakhal, who represents Wednesfield South, insists there was "no option" but to shut down the station due to Government funding cuts.

In a bid to reassure residents he said the move would not see a reduction of police officers in the area.

The Labour councillor, who sits on Mr Foster's strategic policing board, said: "The police have closed reception desks and now obviously stations are closing. It is obviously down to Government funding.

"No one wants to see a police station close, because its is sad and it hurts, but because of cuts to funding the police have got no option.

"However, I can assure people that this will not mean there will be less police. We are still going to have the neighbourhood police presence in Wednesfield."

Wednesfield councillor Bhupinder Gakhal

Mr Gakhal said that under the plans neighbourhood teams will move into other sites, which could include fire authority or local council buildings.

"It's something that is open for discussion at the moment," he added. "The station is not closing for a while yet, and by the time it does close neighbourhood officers will be located somewhere else within Wednesfield."

Wolverhampton North East MP Jane Stevenson, who campaigned to save the station, said the closure was a "real blow" for the community.

She is seeking a meeting with Mr Foster to urge him to reconsider, or to agree to open a smaller station on Wednesfield High Street.

By signing off on the closures of more than 20 police stations and bases, Mr Foster has followed in the footsteps of his predecessor David Jamieson, who shut down dozens of sites between 2014 and 2021.

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