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West Midlands Police
Badge of the West Midlands Police.
Agency overview
Formed 1974
Preceding agencies
Employees 12,596[1]
Volunteers 769[1]
Annual budget £521.8 million[1]
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction* Police area of West Midlands in the country of England, UK
Map of West Midlands Police's jurisdiction.
Size 902 km²
Population 2.6 million
Legal jurisdiction England & Wales
Governing body West Midlands Police Authority
Constituting instrument Police Act 1996
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters Birmingham
Constables 8,421 (of which 769 are special constables)[1]
Police Community Support Officers 748[1]
Agency executive Chris Sims, Chief Constable
Child agency Central Motorway Police Group
Operational Command Units 21
* Police area agency: Prescribed geographic area in the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.

West Midlands Police is the territorial police force responsible for policing the metropolitan county of West Midlands in England.

Covering an area with nearly 2.6 million inhabitants, which includes the cities of Birmingham, Coventry, Wolverhampton and also the Black Country; the force is made up of 8,461 police officers, supported by 4,082 police staff, 769 special constables and 808 police community support officers. This makes it the second largest force in the country behind the Metropolitan Police.

West Midlands is a partner, alongside two other forces Staffordshire Police and West Mercia Constabulary, in the Central Motorway Police Group.



The force was created on April 1, 1974, because of the Local Government Act 1972 which created the new West Midlands metropolitan county, which covered the West Midlands constabulary area along with Birmingham and Coventry and a few other surrounding towns. It was formed by merging the Birmingham City Police, the West Midlands Constabulary, and parts of Staffordshire County and Stoke-on-Trent Constabulary, Warwickshire and Coventry Constabulary and West Mercia Constabulary to form the present force.

Under proposals made by the Home Secretary on February 6, 2006, it would merge with Staffordshire Police, West Mercia Constabulary and Warwickshire Constabulary to form a single strategic force for the West Midlands region.[2]

The police mergers, which would have cut the number of forces in England and Wales from 43 to 24, were abandoned in July 2006 after widespread opposition from police and the public. [3]

Because of the prisons' overcrowding crisis in Birmingham in October 2006 three dozen police cells are to be made available to house inmates in Birmingham to help ease. (By contrast, one contemporary account reported, in 1833, that for days the city gaol had been entirely empty.[4]) Despite a dip in the number of prisoners in the same month, prisons in the region are close to capacity or already full. Now between 32 and 44 cells have been set aside at Steelhouse Lane police station, in Birmingham city centre in case of emergency. West Midlands Police has an established agreement with the Prison Service to provide cells in the event they are needed.[5]

In October 2008, the Chief Constable Sir Paul Scott-Lee announced he would not be renewing his contract in May 2009, after seven years in the post. His replacement is Chris Sims. [6]

Divisions and departments

West Midlands Police is split into 21 operational command units (OCUs). Each OCU is headed by a chief superintendent who is responsible for the overall policing and management of the area.

Each OCU has a number of dedicated Neighbourhood Policing teams. These cover a specific area and are headed by a sergeant with support from a number of police officers, PCSOs and sometimes specials. The neighbourhood teams organise regular meetings, so they can understand the issues that are important to the local community.

The neighbourhood sergeants report to a sector inspector. There are typically two or three sectors per OCU.


  • D1 Queens Road (Aston)
  • D2 Sutton Coldfield
  • D3 Stechford
  • E1 Bournville Lane
  • E2 Kings Heath
  • E3 Belgrave Road
  • F1 Central Birmingham
  • F2 Rose Road (Harborne, Winson Green, Ladywood)
  • F3 Thornhill Road (Handsworth)
  • G1 Wolverhampton West (Bilston Street)
  • G2 Wolverhampton East (Wednesfield)
  • H1 Walsall
  • H2 Bloxwich
  • J1 Dudley North (Dudley, Brierley Hill)
  • J2 Dudley South (Halesowen, Stourbridge)
  • K1 & K2 Sandwell (West Bromwich and Smethwick)
  • L1 Solihull
  • M1 Little Park Street (Coventry)
  • M2 Chace Avenue (Coventry)
  • M3 Stoney Stanton Road (Coventry)

On taking office, the new Chief Constable announced that the force would be realigned to exist alongside council boundaries, abolishing the OCU's and reforming as Local Policing Units.

  • Birmingham North – Covering the area previously covered by the D2, D3 and part of the D1 OCUs
  • Birmingham West and Central – Covering the area previously covered by the F1, F3, and parts of the F2 and D1 OCUs
  • Birmingham South – Covering the area previously covered by the E1, E2, E3 and part of the F2 OCUs
  • Coventry – Covering the area previously covered by the M1, M2 and M3 OCUs
  • Walsall -Covering the area previously covered by the H1 and H2 OCUs
  • Wolverhampton – Covering the area previously covered by the G1 and G2 OCUs
  • Sandwell – Covering the area previously covered by the K1 and K2 OCUs
  • Solihull – Not changing as the LPU will cover the same area as the L1 OCU

See also


External links



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