Langholm police office to be retained

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THE police office in Langholm town hall is to be retained.

Police Scotland, which reviewed eight stations in Dumfries and Galloway, revealed its decision on Monday.

The stations at Gretna and Moffat are to close and be moved to the Richard Greenhow Centre and Moffat town hall respectively if agreement can be reached.

Chief Superintendent Gary Ritchie, divisional commander, presented the results of the feedback to the consultation to the police, fire and rescue committee.

His report also outlined the new approach to community policing, through which community officers would be better deployed and in a more pro-active and visible manner.

This model had allowed for a robust review of the estate and there was now no need for stations which previously housed response staff or direct public access to a front counter.

Mr Ritchie thanked the people who responded and the police's partners which had engaged with them during the process. This had enabled them to come up with creative solutions which reflected the strong spirit of partnership and collaboration.

He said: “Although these are recommendations and not final decisions, no station will be removed until the alternative arrangement is in place and on approval from the Scottish Police Authority.”

The plan has been criticised for the lack of discussion or consultation with the council and the communities affected.

Colin Smyth, South of Scotland MSP, said: "It's not clear whether the level of policing will be reduced further. We already know the number of police staff has been cut, for example, through closing the police control room and more cuts and centralisation are the last thing we need.

"The police must provide more detail on the level of public access and what services people can expect if these changes go ahead.

"It is astonishing that no meaningful discussion has been held with the council, despite the proposals including council buildings."

Wednesday, February 8, 2017 at 9:50AM
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