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West Midlands Police officers have completed a move into Walsall Civic Centre as part of an innovative partnership approach.

The new office – in the heart of Walsall Town Centre – means police staff can now work more closely with council colleagues to better serve and protect the public.

The base is now home to 64 staff from the Paddock, Palfrey, Pleck and St Matthews neighbourhood teams including the partnership team.

It includes a dedicated, secure police area while there is also a shared space for police and council staff.

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson, said: “I want to see more joint working like this. It is good news for taxpayers. Sharing buildings not only saves money but also makes it easier for people to do their jobs and share information.

“By saving money in schemes like this we free up funds to put into neighbourhood policing, recruiting officers and protecting our PCSOs.”

Chief Superintendent Jo Clews, of Walsall Police, said: “This is about working in partnership to create safer communities.

“Our staff and counterparts in the local authority can better work together across a range of issues…continually improving on the service we collectively provide for the people of Walsall.

“There are a number of issues that span local authority and police involvement and the move provides a real opportunity for us to work together to support our customers around a range of areas such as domestic abuse, housing problems and anti-social behaviour.”

Officers started moving into the Civic Centre in May as part of the phased closure of outdated Walsall police station in Green Lane.

Up to 400 other officers and staff will be based at Bloxwich police station by autumn once a refurbishment of the building is complete.

It follows a review of the force’s estate across the region to make potential capital and annual running cost savings of £8.5 million.

Chief Superintendent Clews added: “Clearly, there is also a cost saving element to the move. The overall force estate is constantly being reviewed ensuring that buildings are fit for purpose and providing the best value for money; the changes to policing in Walsall are part of that bigger picture.

“This innovative and creative approach to partnership working allows us to continue to deliver a high standard of policing to local residents; while contributing towards substantial savings the force needs to make now and in the years ahead.”

Councillor Julie Fitzpatrick, portfolio holder for community safety, added: “This is a really positive step which enables closer working between the council and police.

“This partnership approach will help us to support some of the most vulnerable people within our communities.”

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