Councillor calls for more visible policing if rural station closes

© DC Thomson
Longforgan police station.

A councillor has called for more visible policing in the Carse of Gowrie if a rural police station closes.

Angus Forbes, a Scottish Conservative representative for the area, claims he has been inundated with complaints from local residents about anti-social behaviour and speeding drivers and wants more officers on the beat if, as feared, Longforgan police station is axed.

The Carse of Gowrie site has been earmarked, along with those in Bridge of Earn and Stanley, for closure.

Police Scotland has identified 53 stations which are regarded as not providing best value to the force or helping achieve financial sustainability and consultation over their closure is due to end on January 31.

Mr Forbes said he will meet Police Scotland officials on Thursday to discuss the matter.

“If Longforgan police station has to close then I sincerely hope that any savings from the closure are transferred to providing us with more highly visible police activity in the Carse of Gowrie,” he commented.

“I am constantly getting emails from constituents about speeding and anti-social behaviour in this area.”

Chief Inspector Ian Scott, area commander for Perth and Kinross, has confirmed none of the sites have been open on a full-time basis for years and currently only have officers manning them “sporadically.”

 

Mr Scott said: “No decisions will be made until consultation with local communities, partners and stakeholders is complete. We would encourage local communities and partners to have their say.”

He continued: “There are a large number of stations currently empty or soon to become empty, but they still have associated running costs.

“As part of the consultation on the disposal of unused police stations, 53 premises throughout Scotland, including the three in Perth and Kinross, are being considered for disposal as they are no longer required to provide policing services.”

Police Scotland has said 78% of the properties set for possible closure were built before the 1980s. The force had initially compiled a list of 58 buildings following a review of estate launched in 2015.

At that time, it was said the move to close the police stations could result in annual revenue savings of between £5 million and £18 million, with property sales estimated to raise up to £34 million for Police Scotland.

The 53 sites under consideration for closure were identified by local policing divisions, with the vast majority of the stations not being used as a base for officers.

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