Wasted po­ten­tial

Po­lice sta­tion axe slammed by ex-cllr

Rutherglen Reformer - - Your Vote matters - Dou­glas Dickie

The po­ten­tial clo­sure of Cam­bus­lang Po­lice Sta­tion has been crit­i­cised by the man who per­formed the official open­ing 23 years ago.

Andy McGowan, a former coun­cil­lor in Cam­bus­lang, was one of sev­eral politi­cians who fought for the sta­tion.

His ef­forts bore fruit in 1994 when he per­formed the open­ing along­side deputy chief con­sta­ble Peter Mitchell and in­spec­tor Alan Pert.

But Andy, who grew up just yards from the old sta­tion in Kirk Street, reck­ons it has never ful­filled its po­ten­tial in the town.

He said: “We needed a po­lice sta­tion in the area and the help we got in the cam­paign was un­be­liev­able.

“It is still nec­es­sary now but it has never been utilised prop­erly.

“Ev­ery­thing should be done to save it. Cam­bus­lang re­quires a po­lice sta­tion.”

We re­ported last week that Po­lice Scot­land had writ­ten to elected mem­bers and com­mu­nity groups ask­ing for opin­ions on the clo­sure of Cam­bus­lang sta­tion.

Although the sta­tion has been closed to the pub­lic for three years, con­cerns have been raised by com­mu­nity groups.

Cam­bus­lang Com­mu­nity Coun­cil has writ­ten a for­mal ob­jec­tion to the pro­posed clo­sure.

At their meet­ing last week trea­surer John Bachtler said: “When po­lice are phys­i­cally based in a com­mu­nity they have a com­pletely dif­fer­ent re­la­tion­ship with the peo­ple and there is re­search to sup­port that.

“I think the cen­tral­i­sa­tion of Po­lice Scot­land is go­ing in ex­actly the op­po­site di­rec­tion.”

And Halfway Com­mu­nity Coun­cil will write to Po­lice Scot­land telling them it would make more sense to close Ruther­glen.

At a meet­ing last week, chair Dougie Baird said: “Cam­bus­lang was pur­pose built while Ruther­glen must be in the re­gion of 50 years old.

“Ruther­glen is also a lot closer to Aiken­head Road. I think it makes more sense, other than the fact we don’t want to lose any sta­tions, that Cam­bus­lang should be kept open and utilised prop­erly.”

How­ever, In­spec­tor Jim Gille­spie of Ruther­glen Po­lice moved this week to re­as­sure the pub­lic.

He said: “Whilst it is right that we re­view our es­tate to en­sure we are mak­ing the best use of our avail­able re­sources, I can cat­e­gor­i­cally state that there will be no with­drawal of polic­ing ser­vices ei­ther within the Cam­bus­lang or Ruther­glen ar­eas.

“We con­tin­u­ally re­view our op­er­at­ing model to en­sure we have the right re­sources in the right places at the right time. An es­sen­tial part of this is a vis­i­ble and ac­ces­si­ble com­mu­nity polic­ing team work­ing closely with part­ners and the lo­cal com­mu­nity to ad­dress is­sues af­fect­ing each area. Con­sul­ta­tion is on-go­ing about the po­ten­tial clo­sure of Cam­bus­lang po­lice of­fice and whilst no fi­nal de­ci­sion has yet been made about this, I can pro­vide re­as­sur­ance po­lice of­fi­cers will be re­main­ing and de­ployed in the lo­cal com­mu­nity.”

Open­ing The sta­tion opened in May 1994 af­ter a cam­paign to bring po­lice ser­vices back to the town

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