Now that Police Scotland have announced their plans to close their public counter services at four Borders Police Stations they are seeking people’s views.
As Coldstream is one of the police stations affected, along with Lauder, Melrose and Selkirk, Coldstream & District have been consulted and chairman Martin Brims said: “The community council members have been passed the consultation documents and we will be formulating our response at our next meeting (Thursday, October 17).
“I have no doubt there will be some concern among residents at the proposed removal of the counter service, but it would be premature to comment further until the community council has had the chance to discuss the proposal.”
Coldstream Police Station’s front counter is currently open to the public 9am-3pm, Monday to Friday.
Writing to community councils in the affected areas, Chief Superintendent, Jeanette McDiarmid, Divisional Commander for the Lothians and Scottish Borders, said: “The recommendations in this document are not about closing police stations but about moving resources to ensure that we are maximising the policing service in your communities through the effective deployment of police officers.
“In the Scottish Borders we would propose to supplement the remaining stations by the use of police surgeries, and mobile police stations, where officers are available to speak to the public at set times and locations.”
In the consultation document Police Scotland admit that when they carried out their recent survey of police front counter use they didn’t collect any data from Coldstream, Lauder, Melrose and Selkirk.
The document adds: “A separate data collection exercise was undertaken in 2010.
“The data, which looked at total footfall and phone calls rather than demand type, showed low usage by the public at these stations.
“This low demand as well as the geographic location of other stations in the area has suggested as part of this review that the proposal should be to have no public counter provision.”
Jim Hume, Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP for South Scotland, has accused Police Scotland of turning its back on rural communities across the Borders.
He said: “The proposed closure of public counters in police stations across the Borders could have a real impact on long-established links between police and the local community.
“Is this really the new look police service we want for our rural areas?
“The police have now turned their backs on rural communities here with these plans which I believe could further erode local policing.”