Cop shop shut at night in Bishopbriggs?

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FEARS have been raised over plans to close a police station at night.

Under the proposals, Bishopbriggs Police Station would be closed every night and a phone would be mounted outside to allow residents to contact a central control room.

Police say the proposals will improve their service and stop officers coming in off the beat to cover shifts and breaks for civilian staff.

However, Bishopbriggs Community Council has strongly opposed the plans.

A spokesperson for the community council said: "Strathclyde Police Force is one of our community planning partners. By closing the police station at night the force is failing to deliver to the people of Bishopbriggs.

"If you go to a police station you expect to speak to someone - not to pick up a phone.

"It's not acceptable. People in Bishopbriggs contribute a lot in rates and they deserve a service.

"Given the history of disruption at licensed premises over the years this is not a wise move."

Police say a proposal for the station to be manned by a civilian from 8am-7pm is currently out for consultation.

Inspector John O'Neill said: "This is scheduled to happen in 2011 and is being progressed after our research showed that there are few members of the public who use the office after 7pm.

"At the moment when members of the public come into the office to report an incident they are dealt with by a member of police staff, who then creates an incident report and sends it to the police control room where the appropriate police resource is allocated to it.

"To ensure that this service is still available to members of the public, a direct link via a telephone line from outside the office to the police contact centre will be made available, ensuring that people will still receive the most appropriate police response.

"Like all public sector organisations we are affected by the current financial climate and we have to constantly ensure that we are providing the most effective and efficient service at all times.

"A consultation process is currently ongoing with our own staff and local elected representatives.

"I understand people's fears about services being withdrawn, but this will mean more officers on the street rather than in the office."

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