‘‘Tem­po­rary’’ clo­sure lasts nine months

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - VIRGINIA FAL­LON

Porirua and Up­per Hutt’s po­lice sta­tions re­main closed at week­ends nine months af­ter they were shut ‘‘tem­po­rar­ily’’.

Po­lice said last year that the clo­sures were to en­able them to in­stall new safety fea­tures, mak­ing changes to the front counter and foyer.

How­ever, nine months later there is no of­fi­cial re-open­ing date and the con­tin­ued clo­sures mean only Welling­ton Cen­tral and Lower Hutt are open out­side nor­mal busi­ness hours.

Up­per Hutt mayor Wayne Guppy said he was told in July that Porirua and Up­per Hutt sta­tions would be closed for a max­i­mum of nine weeks at week­ends.

He had been guar­an­teed the sta­tion would re­open, but said po­lice could not say when that would be.

‘‘It’s not good enough from where we’re con­cerned.

‘‘There’s some in­tegrity in­volved from the po­lice to re­open the sta­tion like they said they would.’’

A po­lice spokes­woman said there had been no de­ci­sion to ‘‘per­ma­nently re­duce hours’’ at the two sta­tions.

Work on the Porirua front counter was ‘‘on-go­ing’’, but no com­ple­tion date had been fi­nalised.

Po­lice re­fused to ex­pand fur­ther on the clo­sure.

Porirua mayor Mike Tana said po­lice did not give him any more in­for­ma­tion, but he wanted to see the sta­tion opened on the week­ends.

Mana MP Kris Faafoi agreed and said it was ‘‘not good enough’’ that it re­mained closed.

‘‘Our cops do a bloody good job, but they’ve been forced to re­duce their avail­abil­ity over the desk.’’

Kapiti po­lice sta­tion had not opened on week­ends since 2013.

Act­ing Kapiti mayor Janet Hol­bor­row said it was a con­cern.

‘‘We’ve even had prob­lems try- ing to reach po­lice on the phone in Kapiti and it’s wor­ry­ing.’’

If crimes weren’t logged, dis­torted sta­tis­tics could lead to re­source cuts, she said.

She said she would like to see the sta­tion open at week­ends or, if that wouldn’t hap­pen, clear com­mu­ni­ca­tion from po­lice on how to con­tact them.

Af­ter a re­view in Septem­ber 2015, 121 po­lice sites na­tion­wide were iden­ti­fied as need­ing safety im­prove­ments.

Work be­gan in March last year to cre­ate a safer model that in­cluded CCTV mon­i­tor­ing, bar­ri­ers and alarms.

PHOTO: VIRGINIA FAL­LON/ FAIR­FAX NZ

Porirua’s sta­tion has been closed at the week­ends since June 2016.

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