STOURPORT Police Station's public counter services will end from September 1, to be replaced by a 24-hour contact point via a telephone intercom.

West Mercia Police called the move a “modern” and “effective” way of operating the service.

By using the contact point, residents can report missing people, crimes and traffic collisions, make appointments to speak to a local officer, discuss community concerns and seek information.

According to police, safer neighbourhood teams will be increasing their visibility and accessibility to offer support, reassurance and advice to local residents.

It aims to do so by increased patrols, drop-in surgeries, community meetings and forums and meetings with police officers or staff by appointment, as well as via email and twitter.

Bill Longmore, Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “The police must be accessible to people.

“I am keen to explore how we can continue to do this in a way that suits the different communities we have in West Mercia, while making the most of the resources we have.

“Strengthening the local police's relationships with people is important and I hope that these changes will give people a wider opportunity to connect with them, should they need to.”

As part of the public counter changes, Kidderminster Police Station's counter’s hours will be altered to 8am until 8pm Monday to Saturday and 10am to 4pm on Sundays and bank holidays.

Chief Supt Amanda Blakeman, who has led a review into public contact and front counter provision, said it found that public attendance at front counters had reduced, with some having as little as one visitor a day.

“Our review will close some public counters across West Mercia but our analysis of demand has provided evidence which has allowed us to take these steps without impacting the level of service enjoyed by communities," she explained.

“Keeping people safe is the focus of Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police and this is an opportunity to deliver a more consistent, professional service, which will enable more officers to be deployed where and when they are needed the most in our communities.”