Angry residents staged a protest to save their local police station in Birmingham.
Police have said Quinton station will not be open to the public from September because it is uneconomic to employ an officer to staff the front counter.
But they then made the extraordinary offer that if locals wanted to volunteer to work on the front counter, they would keep it open.
On Saturday a group of residents led by Coun Peter Smallbone with placards stood outside the station in Quinton Road West and staged a demonstration.
Coun Smallbone said: “This is the only police station in the ward and residents are very concerned that closing it to the public represents the thin end of the wedge in terms of the station operating at all.
“We’ve already seen the police withdraw from the building the council provided for them in Welsh House Farm. This latest move sends out completely the wrong signal.
Today, I’m announcing a campaign to try to stop this closure.
“I also think the bobbies on the beat do a great job.”
West Midlands Police has defended the move by saying only between four to six people a day go into the station, so it does not make economic sense to have a uniformed officer on duty.
It said there were no plans to close it and police would continue to work out of there.
Police have earlier said and volunteers would not have access to the computers or any confidential files or any other part of the station apart from the front counter. West Midlands Police previously shut its mini police station in a flat above shops in Quinton’s Blandford Road on the Welsh House Farm estate because of cutbacks in February.
The House of Commons has heard Quinton enjoyed the lowest crime rate in the West Midlands for the past nine years, averaging just one or two burglaries a month – until January when 18 houses were broken into within three weeks. Sgt Jeff Doak said at the time he had lost the five officers because they had been redeployed to different areas. He said then: “I’m really struggling to fight crime at the moment and we have started the New Year quite badly.’’