A number of neighbourhood police teams in south west Birmingham are set to move in with their fire service colleagues.
As part of an estate reduction programme announced in 2018 a number of local stations – including Longbridge – closed. This left teams like Longbridge and Northfield without a base and utilising space in other local police stations, such Bournville Lane and Kings Norton.
Now, the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson has confirmed teams from Longbridge, Northfield, Kings Norton and Billesley will move into their local fire stations, meaning the officers and PCSOs will be based in the communities they serve and able to work much closer and more effectively with staff from the fire service.
Officers based at the former Old Hill station in Cradley Heath will also be based at their local fire station, Haden Cross.
The West Midlands Police Estates Programme, was announced in 2018, saving the force £5m a year through disposing of underused buildings with millions of pounds worth of maintenance costs outstanding, and making other parts of the estate more efficient and fit for the 21st century.
The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, David Jamieson said: “Co-locating with our colleagues at West Midlands Fire Service has allowed neighbourhood teams to remain exactly where the public want them to be. At the heart of the communities which they serve.”
“Not only will this move allow us to save money but it will also mean that officers are able to work much closer with firefighters and share information more easily.”
“We have already seen the success of co-location in Walsall, where we have Police Officers and PCSO’s working alongside the Council. This approach is allowing us to save money by protecting funding for neighbourhood policing, thus allowing recruitment of Officers and PCSO’s.”
Neighbourhood Teams from Old Hill and Billesley moved into the new locations in May, with the Northfield, Longbridge and Kings Norton Teams re-locating soon.
These new locations do not serve as public contact offices and are not open to the public.
Mike Griffiths, who heads Finance and Resources for West Midlands Fire Service, said: “We aim to run our 38 fire stations, which are true community assets, as efficiently as possible. A number of them are home to partner agencies or community groups.
“This initiative will enable us to work even more closely with West Midlands Police and to enhance the services we provide to local people.”