Jay Singh-Sohal says closing police stations ‘risks losing local links’

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Closing more police stations across the West Midlands risks cutting off the link between officers and local communities, it has been claimed.

Eight stations are set to be axed across the region as part of West Midlands Police’s latest cuts to its estate.

More than 70 have already gone over the past decade, with the local police station increasingly becoming a thing of the past.

There are calls for clarity on the plans as the closures have been pushed back due to the pandemic.

Police chiefs have blamed Government cuts and the dwindling numbers of people using stations but critics say they still play a vital role in 21st century Britain.

Jay Singh-Sohal, West Midlands Conservative candidate for next year’s Police and Crime Commissioner elections, insists having a station on the doorstep provides security and peace of mind for many people.

He fears more stations disappearing will result in the erosion of links on the ground.

Mr Singh-Sohal, who has vowed to keep stations open if elected, said: “Across the region whenever I speak to people about the issue the indication is very clear that police stations matter an enormous amount.

“It’s a local presence people feel they need and when it’s taken away it’s not going to come back.

“Once stations are gone people don’t feel as safe as they used to, they don’t see police in the region anymore.

“Getting crime down depends on a strong community presence.”

Labour Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson insists the force estate needs to be downsized due to budget cuts, while supporters of the move point to the fact more people contact the police these days over the phone and online reducing the need for stations.

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