PC's Adopt Post Offices In Police Pilot

Police officers are set to be a familiar sight in post offices across the West Midlands after the force struck a deal to locate ‘pop-up’ surgeries in community branches.

Up to 30 post offices in Sandwell and 10 in north Birmingham will take part in a pilot scheme designed to give customers a chance to raise any concerns in a relaxed environment and get to know their beat cops.

Neighbourhood officers will tour participating branches on a rota basis and spend up to two hours chatting with visitors. Officers will pass on important crime prevention advice and it’s hoped the “Adopt a Post Office” project will be rolled out to all parts of the force area.

Birmingham North Chief Inspector Mark Ward heads up the pilot. He said:

“We’ve analysed footfall data at regional post offices and will be timing our pop-up surgeries to coincide with the busiest periods, such as pension day.

“People may have something on their mind they’d like to discuss with an officer but don’t go out of their way to visit a police station or call 101 as they don’t feel it’s significant enough.

“This isn’t about having a front-desk operation on the High Street and is not designed to be a crime reporting facility.

“The aim is to reach residents we might otherwise struggle to engage with…we’ll be passing on important information like warning against distraction burglary, bogus callers and Courier Fraud.”

Post Office Security Programme Manager, Wayne Griffiths, added: “Not only does the initiative create greater visibility for officers in their local community it also provides reassurance to staff and customers and is a visible deterrent to criminals.

“It’s been well received elsewhere and I’m sure will be a great success in the West Midlands. We had one great example in Rotherham recently where a staff member noticed a customer withdrawing a large sum of money; they alerted officers in the branch and enquiries showed she was being tricked by a conman.”

The six-month pilot project is expected to run until the end of September.


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