New headquarters for Central Motorway Police is unveiled
9 March 2012
THE NEW £3.2million state-of-the-art headquarters for the group of officers who patrol the Midlands motorway network has today been officially opened.
The unveiling followed the conclusion of a seven-year project to create a purpose-built base for the Central Motorway Police Group, who are responsible for policing the network across Staffordshire, Shropshire, West Midlands and Worcestershire.
CMPG is made up of officers working in partnership from the neighbouring police forces of West Midlands, Staffordshire and West Mercia.
The honour of official unveiling the new HQ, at Perry Barr, was handed to Robin Walker, Member of Parliament for Worcester. Mr Walker is the son of the late Right Honourable Peter Walker, former Transport Secretary, who officially opened Central Motorway Police Group's original headquarters back in 1972.
Commander of the Central Motorway Police Group, David Jones, was joined by West Midlands Police Assistant Chief Constable, Garry Forsyth as well as members of the Police Authority for all three member forces, representatives from the construction and architect firms involved in the project and officers and staff from across the group.
Local schoolchildren from Year Four at Perry Beeches Junior School joined officers and guests to mark the occasion, after spending the term focusing on nature around the site for a school project.
Chief Superintendent David Jones said, following the ceremony: "I took over the command of CMPG back in May 2009 and moved over from West Mercia police headquarters to find that my new base was a series of portable offices held together with duct tape.
"The main headquarters had been condemned and conditions were poor.
"Thankfully a legal technicality around the ownership of a strip of land near to the entrance of the site was resolved after a period of confusion, and the actual building of the new headquarters began.
"Seeing the years of planning and work to create this building realised today is a huge achievement for the dedicated staff, officers and partners who have worked tirelessly to create this state of the art facility."
The new headquarters will become home to 120 officers and staff who had previously been spread across various sites, including the temporary buildings located on the Perry Barr site.
Robin Walker MP said, after officially opening the building: "Some forty years ago my father stood here and opened the predecessor to this great facility and I am honoured to follow in his footsteps and to perform the same duty today.
"As someone who often uses the central motorway network I feel greatly reassured to see the great facilities available to those working to keep our roads safe."
ACC Garry Forsyth added: "In current times, where you can't open a newspaper or switch on the television without seeing austerity measures discussed, it is encouraging and pleasing to see this project come to fruition.
"We often talk about partnership working with colleagues in other authorities or forces, and CMPG is a great example of how this kind of collaboration can work, having done so effectively for many, many years.
"The group is nationally and internationally renowned and it is fair to say that they go significantly beyond keeping people safe on the region's roads, and proactively target those offenders using the network to commit their crimes."
The new Perry Barr headquarters will sit alongside the Group's other regional bases in Staffordshire and Worcester, as well as the Regional Control Centre in Quinton where CMPG contact centre staff are based alongside the Highways Agency.
BRIEFING NOTE: The Central Motorway Police Group is responsible for policing the Midlands motorway network stretching south from Cheshire on the M6 to the Welsh borders on the M50.The team has 130 specialist police officers and police staff drawn from three of the region's police forces: West Midlands Police, Staffordshire Police and West Mercia Police.
Working closely with the Highways Agency and other partners, they patrol over 450 miles of motorway to keep road users safe and prevent criminals using the motorway network.
The network they police is one of the busiest in the country with approximately 500,000 vehicle journeys made per day.
You can find out more about CMPG by visiting: www.west-midlands.police.uk/cmpg/
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- police.uk (external site)