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Extra 40 bobbies take to the beat

POLICE have pledged to put an extra 40 officers on the streets, as part of a major shake-up of Solihull’s neighbourhood teams.

POLICE have pledged to put an extra 40 officers on the streets, as part of a major shake-up of Solihull’s neighbourhood teams.

A new set-up will come into force next week, which will see the neighbourhood teams restructured.

As part of region-wide changes, West Midlands Police will be dividing the borough into two sections - Meriden and Solihull.

These areas will be the same as the existing parliamentary constituencies and replace the old set-up, which carved the borough into north, south and east teams.

Although the number of neighbourhood inspectors will be reduced from three to two, the force has confirmed that there will be 32 extra PCs and eight more sergeants.

Police Commander Carl Foulkes said: “Each ward will benefit from increased officer numbers; it’s not a case of taking from some neighbourhood teams and not giving to others.”

Sgt Dave Hewitt will be heading up the Castle Bromwich team. He said that the main aim of the teams was to tackle low-level crime and anti social behaviour.

“Everyone likes to see the big chases on TV, with police helicopters going after the robbers.

“But those operations won’t do anything about the gang of youths who are gathering on the street corners every Friday night.”

Shirley, Solihull and Chelmsley Wood will keep their stations - although officers have confirmed that the cell block at the latter is to close.

Cells will instead be consolidated at Solihull, although the remainder of services will continue in north Solihull - supplemented by a new, road traffic team.

Other changes include dedicated sergeants for Solihull town centre (previously part of St Alphege) and the NEC.

Operation Paragon, as the restructure has been named, comes into force on April 6.

 

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