Oakley to lose police station in budget shake-up

Published: 4 Oct 2013 07:003 comments

OAKLEY Police Station is to close while Dalgety Bay will have opening hours severely reduced under cost-cutting proposals from Police Scotland.

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And Fife’s traffic wardens could also disappear as Police Scotland proposes withdrawing the service.

Oakley is among 74 police stations across Scotland facing the chop while Dalgety Bay will see its 24-hour, seven-days-a-week opening hours slashed to 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday.

Dunfermline station will continue to open 24/7.

Oakley currently opens 8am-4pm but in recommending closure a Police Scotland review reported, “Over a 10-day period there were ... 239 demands made of the station assistant and of this six demands (two-and-a-half per cent) could be classified as core public counter functions.

“These were all regarding found property.”

Of Dalgety Bay, the review said, “Over a 14-day period there were ... 1047 demands made of the station assistant and of this 35 demands could be classified as core public counter functions.

“This represented three per cent of the total demand with a daily average of two-and-a-half members of the public visiting each day for a core front counter purpose.”

Police Scotland stressed that although most police station public counters will be closed overnight, officers will still work out of the stations and patrol communities.

It also insisted the service would not suffer and the moves would result in more officers on the beat.

However, Dunfermline MP Thomas Docherty called Oakley’s closure “another kick in the teeth to West Fife”, adding, “I find it astonishing that when according to their own figures, 239 enquiries were made in a single 10-day period, Police Scotland are shutting the doors to the public.

“There has been no proper consultation with local people or their elected representatives and I have demanded an urgent meeting with the police to make the case to retain Oakley.”

Fife Council had raised concerns about dilution of police services last month. At a full meeting, councillors passed the motion that: “This council regrets the recent changes to chief inspector staffing in Fife and the move from seven local chief inspectors to three; finds these changes not to be in the best interests of policing in Fife and is deeply disappointed that the changes come only weeks after the move to a single force and is concerned that such significant changes to operational delivery are being made in isolation from local discussions and the wider partnership planning.”

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