Pledge given over police stations
A LOCAL review of police stations may see huge changes for offices in Argyll but not the loss of officers in specific areas.
News broke on Monday that Police Scotland was conducting a review of properties and top of the list were key offices in Argyll, including Oban, Campbeltown and Lochgilphead.
While officers stressed this was a review, MSP John Finnie claimed the West Coast could be left without any police stations which would lead to a lack of confidence in the police in the area.
Chief Inspector Marlene Baillie, area commander for Mid Argyll, Kintyre, Oban, Lorn and the Islands, said: ‘It is important we consider how our local facilities are used to ensure Police Scotland provides a quality service while considering the needs and demands of our communities.
‘ We are consulting with our local partners and communities about the future use of some police buildings and offices in Argyll as in some cases they may not fit the demands of 2016 or the needs of communities, and it makes little sense to maintain old and expensive buildings when smaller, more collaborative options may be available.
‘The current assessment of our estate locally confirms that many of our buildings no longer meet operational requirements and are either too big, wrongly located or unsuitable for adaptation to deliver modern working practices.
‘There are some premises within the area that we would want to retain, such as Campbeltown police office, but it is clear some buildings are not being used to their maximum potential or are not necessarily fit for purpose to support the delivery of modern policing.
‘ We are consulting with partners and the local community on a range of opportunities available to us for areas such as Lochgilphead and Oban, which could include relocation or shared premises to support the delivery of joined-up services to communities.
‘However, for the avoidance of any doubt which may have been brought about by recent reports in the national media, we will not be closing the offices in either town unless we find suitable alternative accommodation in these towns.
‘We are committed to maintaining a presence within local communities across Argyll. However, it is vital to have an estate that supports modern working practices and also supports the delivery of a local police service that best meets local needs, improves access to the service and reflects the priorities of the area.’