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Counter closures could cut the link between Police and local communities

October 2, 2013 9:04 AM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrats have criticised Police Scotland for turningAlison McInnesAlison McInnes their backs on local communities, after a review of public counters recommended that 69 stations close or share their front desk.

Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Alison McInnes MSP has said that public counters in police stations can be a crucial link between the local community and their police officers.

Commenting on results of the review, Ms McInnes said:

"Scottish Liberal Democrats repeatedly warned of the risks of centralising our police forces. The police have turned their backs on local communities. These plans could further erode local policing. The proposed closure of 65 public counters in police stations could have a real impact on long-established links between police and the local community.

"People rightly value being able to report issues directly with their local police station. Now it seems that people will have no option but to make a phone call to a remote call centre. As with the closure of fire control centres, this is a real loss to the local knowledge of our emergency services. After decades of building a reputation as the stewards of the community, our local police risk becoming a faceless organisation. Communities across Scotland will be worried about what will be next.

"It remains unclear as to whether local communities will be consulted on these plans. Any changes to public counter operating hours must be closely monitored. I would urge the council policing groups to work with the police to see if these plans have an adverse impact on police's ability to serve the public."