Walsall police station demolition to start
A former police station in the Black Country is set to be demolished over the coming weeks.
DSM Demolition will oversee the work at the Walsall police station in Green Lane, which closed its doors in 2016.
Diggers and contractors visited the site on Tuesday ahead of the demolition work being carried out.
Byron Young, demolition supervisor at the site, said: "For the first two weeks it will be starting to set up. We are about three weeks away before we pull anything down.
"It will take three to four weeks, eight weeks in total, to get it all cleared.
"Once it starts happening there will be people watching."
Mr Young said there was 'not much' machinery on site at the moment because they were setting up.
Councillors for the area praised the announcement – with one calling it a 'magnet for crime'.
Councillor Lee Jeavons, who represents the Birchills-Leamore ward, praised the announcement.
He said: "People want to be reassured there is a police presence and from that point of view it affects confidence and people feel there's not many police on the street and it was a visible presence.
"That said, the building is now empty and it was being vandalised.
"It was recognisable and iconic, but it's not a police station anymore.
"I'm pleased to see it's moving forward because it's a magnet for crime and anti-social behaviour.
"The sooner it comes down the better."
Police officers were moved out of the 36,500sq ft building in October 2016 after the station had served as the town’s primary police base for 50 years.
Councillor Christopher Jones, who also represents the ward, welcomed the demolition but said it was a 'sad loss' for the town to lose the station.
He said: "It's bad news for the police because I'm sure years ago they were investigating how to move closure to the town centre and now they've gone to Bloxwich.
"I do understand it's a national thing and on the demolition, it was attracting anti-social behaviour and it was an eyesore. For safety reasons and the fact it's an eyesore, we welcome the demolition.
"I know the police have been called there a few times and they've had a look because I think homeless people were breaking in.
"It was a health and safety issue.
"We can assume there's probably been some anti-social behaviour taking place there – throwing stones at the windows and breaking in.
"It was quite thriving. It's got some poignant history and I think it's sad the town centre – if you can call it that – is losing that public contact because the nearest place is Bloxwich, but that's because of police cuts.
"I feel it's a sad loss for the town."
The station was one of 27 to be closed by cash-strapped West Midlands Police in a bid to generate cash.
Shirley station in Solihull has also been sold and the two deals have resulted in a combined £2.25m for the force.
Selling off eight police buildings across the West Midlands has netted more than £4m in total.
Last year, a police chief warned youngsters were entering the potentially dangerous site – and putting their lives at risk.
Chief Superintendent Andy Parsons said: “I’m urging people to stay away from the building as it is extremely unsafe.
"Fortunately we haven’t received any reports of any injuries but I fear if this activity continues, it will only be a matter of time.
"We’re working with partners and have recently served a community protection warning notice on the land owner which gives them 28 days to re-secure the site.
“We’ve also spoken to the owner who has assured us that the site will be secured imminently.
“This behaviour is not only irresponsible but also illegal, we’ve increased patrols in the area in an effort to trace those involved.”
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