THE COUNTER service at Malvern Police Station is set to close marking a sea change in the way residents in the town report crime.
From September 1 the station at Victoria Road, which is currently open to the public for about 30 hours a week across four days, will be replaced by a ‘contact point’ which will connect visitors through to a 24/7 service via an intercom.
The change has been brought about following a force wide review affecting dozens of services throughout West Mercia, which found on average only ten people a day used the Malvern counter service.
The move comes 50 years after the station at Victoria Road was opened, but residents have been assured they will still be able to contact their local policing teams easily.
Steph Brighton, Safer Neighbourhood Inspector for Malvern Hills, said: “The key message is the community will notice no difference in local reactive policing. In fact we are more accessible now than ever before.
“This is sad news because coming to the station has always been the traditional way for the public to report crime.
“However, with new technology and new innovations, over time it has become the less favoured method. We have definitely noticed a reduced footfall.
“We used to have queues out of the door and we would have two to three counter staff and even bobbies on to manage the demand.”
Insp Brighton added: “When this station opened we had no phones or computers and the communication methods were extremely basic. It was a case of people finding us in the street or coming to the station and queueing. But there are so many ways to report crime now and there is no need to have that volume of officers staffing the station continuously.”
She said calling 101 was now the primary method for reporting non-urgent crimes, while residents had plenty of other ways to engage with police such as emailing, taking part in the new web chats and following the increasingly popular @MalvernCops on Twitter for daily crime updates.
Insp Brighton added there was a high visibility of PCSOs throughout Malvern and community engagement events were held regularly during the year providing plenty of opportunities for residents to speak to officers directly.
The force in Malvern also benefits from a close partnership with Neighbourhood Watch groups who circulate the latest incidents to residents and provide safety advice.
Ledbury station, which sees less than six visitors a day, will also lose its counter service at the end of the month meaning the closest ones available for the two towns will be at Worcester and Hereford – both open from 8am to 8pm six days a week and 10am to 4pm on Sundays.
How to contact police:
Call 999 for emergencies.
Call 101 in non-urgent situations.
Contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 to pass on information anonymously.
Email: email@example.com for general enquiries.
Follow @MalvernCops on Twitter for daily crime updates and information on upcoming community events.
Visit www.westmercia.police.uk/saferneighbourhoods to find out more about priority crimes in your area as well as who your local police officers are.