Shut police station may still be an asset

Councillor Kenny McCreary and Margaret Mitchell MSP outside Uddingston Police Station
Councillor Kenny McCreary and Margaret Mitchell MSP outside Uddingston Police Station

A councillor has criticised plans to dispose of Uddingston Police Station claiming it could still be an important community asset.

No police officers have been based at Uddingston since the local problem-solving team was transferred to Blantyre two years ago.

It is now only used as an occasional location for officers to take a break or complete paperwork.

Uddingston and Bothwell Councillor Kenny McCreary said: “The communities of Uddingston and Bothwell appreciate the value of the presence of the police station and it is my opinion there is a strong desire to have it remain as a base for the local officers.

“I realise the station is not fully functional or indeed manned at all times, however the more visible police presence we have in the area the greater the deterrent to the criminal element. 

“The community police officers give great support to residents and are highly regarded by all, but we need them based in Uddingston, not spending time travelling back and forward to a station in Blantyre. 

“There are various alternatives which should be discussed before closure and I would urge Police Scotland to engage fully with the communities involved and consider any proposals presented.”

Central Scotland list MSP Margaret Mitchell received a letter from Chief Superintendent Louise Skelton, which says a three month consultation regarding the disposal took place.

Chief Inspector Skelton wrote: “That consultation ran for a period of three months and concluded on the 31 st January 2018, with the majority of responses supportive of our plan to dispose of the property.

“Uddingston Police Station no longer serves our operational model ... in the challenging budgetary environment in which we operate, our current spend on the care and maintenance would be better spent contributing to keeping your local problem-solving team on the street.”

Mrs Mitchell has questioned who knew about the consultation and what they were asked.

She said: “It appears very few people seem to have been aware that a consultation seeking their views on the future of Uddingston Police Station had been carried out.

“I have asked for further details on the consultation to be made available of exactly what it consisted of and what questions were asked.

“In the meantime, it makes sense that there is a pause in proceedings to ensure that a further consultation can be carried out.”

Chief Inspector Skelton accepted the consultation had not had the reach it required and offered to work with the politicians in order to provide more information to the community.