POLICE chiefs have closed a town centre office at night despite strong public opposition.
The closure of Bishopbriggs Police Station between 7pm and 8am each day was introduced earlier this month.
Residents can now contact the force’s central control room at night through phones mounted outside the office.
However, Bishopbriggs Community Council say the closure will not work and will cause anxiety in the town.
Dominic Notarangelo, spokesperson for the group, said: “Strathclyde Police has given us assurances that if the closure doesn’t work the station will reopen. I can envisage the community council having to ask for this.
“Once people get to know about the closure there are residents that will feel uneasy. These phones are meant to bypass the call centre’s automated queuing system. However, if someone’s at the phone because they’re being chased and it doesn’t work, or they get an operator that doesn’t know the area, they could get their head bashed in.”
Bishopbriggs councillor Billy Hendry said: “I’m disappointed the police have dismissed the views of the community and gone ahead with the overnight closure.
“Running into a police station to report a crime is one thing, but running to use a phone outside is another.”
Inspector John O’Neill said: “During 2011 Strathclyde Police conducted research that confirmed that some of our offices which were opened to the public on a 24/7 basis were not being used often enough during the evening to justify their opening.
“As a result, we looked at ways of cutting the cost on the public purse whilst at the same time offering a service that would continue to meet the needs of our public.
“We recognise that in this modern era there are very few visitors to some of our offices as most people have some form of electronic communication, however, for those who do come to the offices we have installed telephones outside and these are linked directly to our contact centres.
“Police officers continue to operate from the offices and they, as before, will be the first response to anyone who needs urgent attention.
“Our aim remains to keep people safe. This change allows us to do this in an effective and efficient manner.”
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