New fears over police stations

MSP Margaret Mitchell fears further police cuts.

MSP Margaret Mitchell fears further police cuts.

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Concern has been expressed that more police station front counter closures could be on the way.

Three years ago stations in Uddingston and Viewpark were closed to the public and opening hours at Bellshill were cut.

Now, in a letter to the Scottish Conservatives, the Scottish Police Authority has confirmed it is “reviewing the police estate”.

It comes as new figures reveal the vast majority of people still prefer attending a police station to report a crime.

Police Scotland’s latest ‘Your View Counts’ publication – in which 10,000 people were surveyed – found attending a police station or speaking to an officer directly was the favoured approach of people reporting the crime by an overwhelming margin.

In contrast, only a fraction said they’d like to use email, social media or the Police Scotland website.

Central Scotland and Scottish Conservative MSP Margaret Mitchell said: “This admission from Police Scotland appears to suggest more police station closures are on the way.

“Not content with already forcing through a number of unpopular front desk closures across communities in Scotland, it seems the Nationalist government is preparing to swing the axe again.

“This despite the hard evidence that attending a police station is still people’s preferred way of reporting a crime.

“It has been confirmed police stations in other local authority areas are under threat, and there’s been no assurance from either Nicola Sturgeon or the single force that this isn’t happening in other areas too.

“I consider this is absolute folly and call on the SNP to think again.”