Police Scotland’s ‘half hearted’ public consultation

Jim Hume MSP.
Jim Hume MSP.

Police Scotland’s consultations on plans to close their front counters at four Borders police stations have been described as ‘half hearted’.

Jim Hume, Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP for South Scotland, has criticised the Police Scotland consultation of the proposed closures saying it is a‘half hearted’ attempt at gathering the public’s views on the plans.

The proposals include the closure of public counters at Selkirk, Melrose, Eyemouth, Lauder, Coldstream, police stations. The deadline for responses by email was last week.

In a letter to Chief Constable Stephen House, Mr Hume said: “It’s critical that the communities affected by the closures and the reduction in police hours are properly consulted.

“Simply providing an email address through which people can get in touch seems half hearted at best. That is not good enough.

“Not only will it severely limit the chances of those people who have real concerns getting in touch, but the failure to produce a formal consultation document means that others who do not have internet access – which is a real issue for parts of rural South Scotland - will be isolated from the process entirely.”

In Berwickshire changes to the opening hours of Police station front counters include changing the times at Eyemouth to match Duns and closing Coldstream to the public.

MSP Jim Hume isn’t the only one to be critical of how Police Scotland have handled the consultation process. Coldstream & District Community Council question the conclusion reached that Coldstream police station’s front counter should be closed to the pulic, based on no up-to-date data being gathered in the lead up to the proposals.