Cop shop now open 7 days
‘‘It's good for the city, good for the community and good for the police.’’
Upper Hutt’s police station has reopened its doors to the public on weekends after more than 15 months of reduced service and increasing community concern.
The Fergusson Dr station is again open from 8am to 4pm on Saturdays and Sundays, while its Monday to Friday hours have been confirmed at 8am to 7pm, an extension of three afternoon hours.
Upper Hutt mayor Wayne Guppy said the news ‘‘is a mass- ive boost for the city’’.
‘‘I got a phone call from the Hutt Valley area commander Sean Hansen saying it was happening.
‘‘I said a big thank you and told him Upper Hutt will be very happy.
‘‘It’s good for the city, good for the community and good for the police,’’ Guppy said.
‘‘These hours will mean an improved connection for the community here with the police, knowing they can go along, seven days a week again and have that face-to-face contact.’’
‘‘I know other parts of the region haven’t got this happening so we are grateful.’’
In a 2016 review, 121 police sites nationwide were identified as needing safety improvements.
Three months ago the Upper Hutt weekend policing situation looked bleak.
With no date set for a reopening and a completion of security upgrade work cited as the reason for the closure people were questioning if the reduced hours were part of a move to close the station by stealth
At that time Guppy said the original closure time had been estimated to be nine weeks and, more than a year later, excuses from police were ‘‘wearing thin.’’
Hansen said he understood the concerns about the reduced hours and the weekend closure, ‘‘but it was always our intention to reopen it’’.
‘‘It was always a tough decision to reduce the hours,’’ he said.
‘‘It was part of a risk assessment carried out nationally and it took longer then expected.
‘‘We had to take the response we did on the [staff]safety concerns but now we are we back to what had before,’’ Hansen said.