Public counter services could go at rural police stations

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Public counter services at police stations in Newton Stewart and Kirkcudbright could be withdrawn.

Jim Hume, Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP for South Scotland, has condemned Police Scotland’s decision, which also includes Dalbeattie, claiming the force is turning its back on rural communities across the region.

Mr Hume said: “The proposed closure of three public counters in police stations across the Dumfries and Galloway region could have a real impact on long-established links between police and the local communities in this rural and sometimes remote region. Is this really the new-look police service we want for our rural areas?

“Residents will consider the removal of public counter provision at these three stations a worrying development for the south west.

“Scottish Liberal Democrats repeatedly warned of the risks of centralising our police forces. The police have now turned their backs on rural communities in Dumfries and Galloway with these plans which I believe could further erode local policing.”

Assistant Chief Constable Wayne Mawson said: “Following the launch on Tuesday this week of the public consultation into our review of public counter provision, it was good to see a wide range of views expressed in the media yesterday.

“Over the next four weeks of the consultation period, we want to continue to hear feedback from the public, elected members and partners in both the voluntary and statutory sectors. Information about our proposals has been loaded onto the Police Scotland website and social media, such as Facebook and Twitter. All the details about how to contact us are on the website but I’ll repeat the dedicated email address -publiccounterreview@Scotland.pnn.police.uk.

“Having reviewed all the media reporting on this important issue yesterday, there is only one point that I would like to make absolutely clear. This salient point is that my review of the public counter provision is definitely not about closing entire police station buildings. My review is about rationalising the front counter provision and making front counter opening hours consistent across the country and it’s absolutely geared toward meeting local demand. It’s also about keeping as many police officers as possible out on the street, where they belong, keeping people safe.”