Plan to cut police station opening hours slammed

Reporter:

Hayley Collins

OPPOSITION is mounting to controversial plans to cut opening hours at police stations.

North Wales Police has unveiled controversial proposals to reduce front counter opening hours – a move that could save £100,000.

Buckley, Flint and Deeside look set to lose their daily counter, and opening hours will be reduced at Wrexham and Mold stations.

Instead police stations will be fitted with video phones where members of the police will be able to speak to officers via a video link.

Community leaders have blamed the proposals on the cuts forced upon police forces by the British Government.

Flint councillor Ian Roberts said: “I can’t believe that in a town the size of Flint, with an inspector based at the police station, that front counter opening hours are being reduced to the extent they are.

“If you want to see a police officer now you’ll have to call 101 or 999.

“This is absolutely appalling and can be blamed quite clearly on the cuts imposed by the Conservative and Lib Dem Government. I’m extremely disappointed this action is being taken to save just a small amount of money.”

Cllr Roberts added: “I think the video phone idea is pathetic.

“People often visit the police station in a distressed state and need a professional person there to reassure them.

“And what about people who have got to take documents in?

“It’s ill thought out and ill conceived and it gives the impression that police are withdrawing.”

Connah’s Quay councillor Bernie Attridge added: “I’m really concerned about the closure of police front counters, especially in Deeside.

“I find it quite appalling they are taking this service away. It’s another service the people of Flintshire are losing and I believe it’s to do with the savage cuts from Westminster.

“I will be writing to the chief constable to ask them to reconsider. We haven’t even been consulted.”

As part of the plans, Wrexham station’s front counter will be open seven days a week from 8.30am to 7.30pm; the one at Mold will be open from Monday to Saturday from 7am to 1pm and 3pm to 6pm.

In addition, fortnightly neighbourhood policing team surgeries will take place at Rhos, Saltney, Buckley, Flint and Deeside.

The proposals will be discussed at a meeting of the North Wales Police Authority tomorrow.
 

See full story in the Leader

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