BIRKENHEAD Police Station’s front desk is now the only one in Wirral open 24 hours a day after budget cuts forced the closure of reception desks across the borough.
From Monday the number of General Enquiry Offices (GEOs) in Wirral was cut to two – at Birkenhead Police Station in Mortimer Street and Wallasey Police Station in Manor Road.
Birkenhead Police Station will be open seven days a week, 24 hours a day while Wallasey Police Station will act as a sister station and will be open from 8am-10pm, Monday to Saturday.
Police stations in Heswall, Hoylake, Moreton, Upton, Laird Street in Birkenhead, Well Lane in Rock Ferry and Bromborough will remain open but there will no longer be GEOs at the stations.
Police chiefs said they took the decision to close front counters because members of the public said they wanted fewer officers sat behind desks and more out on the streets.
Across the Merseyside Police area, the number of GEOs is reduced from 34 to 12.
Wallasey Councillor Kate Wood, a member of Merseyside Police Authority, said: “By reducing them we can put more police officers out on the streets, desperately needed in these times of savings.
“Always the public say they want more officers on the beat and that’s what we’re working towards.”
Cllr Wood said there were still 32 public “access points” at a variety of locations where members of the public could meet police and report any concerns. These include surgeries in community centres, shops and libraries.
Police chiefs have been faced with a £61.4m hole in their budget from Downing Street over four years.
Non-emergency incidents can be reported by calling 101. Requests to speak to neighbourhood policing teams can also be made through that number.