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Police station opening hours set to be cut

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Controversial plans to reduce the opening hours of police stations in the North East come into force next month.

Police Scotland is set to introduce the revised public counter times on Monday, March 3.

The Scottish Conservative party has described the decision as ‘highly regrettable.’

Although Peterhead police station’s public counter service will remain open seven days a week, it will no longer be available after midnight.

The counter was previously staffed until 4am.

Similarly the counter at Fraserburgh police station will shut at midnight instead of 1.45am.

The nationwide review of the public counter service recommended that 65 stations across Scotland - one in three - close their front desks.

In a statement, Police Scotland’s assistant chief constable Wayne Mawson said: “These changes allow us to ensure more of the right people with the right skills are available at the right time and in the right places to serve communities in a manner that reflects the way people now live their lives.

“The review of Public Counters has contributed to this with Police Scotland committed to maximising police officers on the street and in communities working to keep people safe and to provide the high standards of service the public expects.

He also stressed that the force has introduced new ways to contact the police including the 101 non-emergency number and a ‘strong online presence.’

Chief Conservative whip John Lamont MSP said: “As everyone suspected, the consultation excercise was merely Police Scotland going through the motions.

“This excercise has been based on false and inaccurate data, and will erode the relationship between the public and the police.

“The Scottish Government had the power to intervene on this, but both Kenny MacAskill and Alex Salmond have slumped back and watched it happen.

“The decision is highly regrettable, and not one that anyone who supported the creation of Police Scotland could have foreseen.”

From March 3, Peterhead police station will be open from 7am until midnight, seven days a week.

Mintlaw police station will be open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

To contact Police Scotland in a non-emergency situation, call 101.

 

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