MSP’s call for consultation on police station closures

POLICE: Banchory Station
POLICE: Banchory Station

A North- east MSP has called for further consultation from Police Scotland on their plans to close local stations or reduce desk hours.

Liberal Democrat Alison McInnes has said that police stations across Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Moray and Tayside will be open 554 hours less each week under the new proposals.

In Deeside, Aboyne would be closed and Banchory and Ballater would see new opening hours.

The force claims its aim is to provide the “best value for money” to the taxpayer.

Ms McInnes said: “These figures reinforce the case for a full and formal public consultation on Police Scotland’s plans.

‘‘I’ve put a motion forward in the Scottish Parliament calling for this and it has already received support from Labour and Conservative members.

“Alex Salmond tried to wash his hands of the closures caused by his government’s centralisation plans. The First Minister said it was an operational matter for the police...”

Ms McInnes called the current four-week consultation set up “half hearted at best,” pointing to the relatively short time period for comments and the fact that the only way to respond was by e-mail, which could isolate those without internet access.

In last week’s Piper, SNP MSP for Aberdeenshire West, Dennis Robertson, said that Banchory and Ballater would actually see increased opening hours, 20 extra at the latter.

He also pointed out that a consultation has been set up. Respond to: review@Scotland.pnn.police.uk.