Police station opens . . . and closes at 8pm
A NEW police station due to be opened at Nairn today is likely to close after 8pm every day as a result of budget cuts, union leaders have warned.
Senior Northern Constabulary officers and members of the Northern Joint Police Board are expected to be among the official delegation opening the £1million building this morning.
Later this month they will meet again to discuss plans to close 16 of the region’s police stations, limit the hours at 10 others – including Nairn – and axe about 50 civilian posts.
Last night a spokesman for Unison Scotland said the Nairn building was impressive, but it was a shame it would be “so underused”.
“With budget cuts proposed to be implemented from March 2011, this station is going to be only staffed by police staff from 8am until 8pm,” he said.
“There will be police officers on duty as normal but they will now be expected to undertake the administrative duties that are at present being done by police staff.”
He said people who wanted to speak to an officer outside the station’s operating hours would have to use an intercom at the front entrance which links to the force control room in Inverness.
Unison’s regional organiser Ken Matthews said the union was opposed to the UK Government’s spending cuts on police forces – particularly if it meant taking officers off the beat to do jobs previously done by civilians.
“These backroom police staff posts are not surplus but they are essential to ensure that frontline policing is not affected with officers dealing with administration,” he said.
“There will be a detrimental effect on public services for the general public.”
The cuts will be considered at a meeting of Northern Joint Police Board on November 26.