BBC
6 Apr 2012

The PSNI has proposed to close three police stations in Counties Down and Armagh.

The police said the plans to close the stations in Dromore, Keady and Brownlow in Craigavon would need approval from the Policing Board.

Warrenpoint Police Station has been given a reprieve for the moment.

Last December, it was revealed 40% of police stations in Northern Ireland could shut in a PSNI cost-cutting plan.

Chief Superintendent Alasdair Robinson said his decision followed a review of all stations in the area under his command.

“I have had to look very closely at all of the stations in my district, to ensure we are using all of our resources, including buildings, in the most effective and efficient way,” he said.

Savings

“As a result of the review, during which a range of views were canvassed, I have reached the view that these stations are no longer required operationally and have recommended closure.”

He said he understood that some people may take comfort in having a police station nearby but “modern policing is about people, not buildings”.

“As a result of people increasingly using alternative means to interact with police, fewer people are visiting or using police stations.

“The introduction of smartphones has also reduced the need for officers to return to a police station to complete administrative tasks.”

The PSNI has to save £135m – 14% of its overall budget – in a four-year cost-cutting plan that stretches until April 2015.

It said the station closures were essential for those savings to be made.

In 2001, the PSNI inherited 140 stations from the RUC. By 2015, just 49 will remain.

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