A West Midlands politician is calling on West Mercia’s police and crime commissioner to “lay the facts on the table” over changes to shift patterns in Shropshire.
Unnamed police officers have told the Shropshire Star the changes will mean few officers in Oswestry, Shrewsbury, Ludlow, Bridgnorth and Market Drayton.
UKIP MEP James Carver said: “West Mercia Police is reported as denying that numbers will be cut and claim a change in shift patterns will provide more resources during busier afternoons and evenings.
“The accusation being levelled at the force by a serving police officer is that cuts are being dressed up as efficiency savings and ‘agile’ working.
“If the PCC, John Campion, is confident that these changes will not amount to fewer officers and that they will provide a better service and greater protection for staff, then show us.
“Without the facts the general public don’t know who to believe – though they might reasonably think a front-line officer knows what he is talking about more than Mr Campion, who has never served as a police officer.
“Despite the introduction of new technology and so-called more efficient ways of policing, the stark fact is that there are fewer police officers now and crime is rising everywhere.
“There might be generally quieter periods for the police, but they need to be there to respond to incidents, which can happen at any time.
“I will be writing to Mr Campion to ask him to publicly explain the nature of these changes and how they are not going to result in slower response times and less crime prevention.”
West Mercia Police deny cuts to numbers as officers ‘appalled’ by plans
Fewer police officers will be stationed at police bases across Shropshire as part of changes by the West Mercia force.