How can there be more visible policing if we close rural stations?
The PSNI Area Commanders will prepare plans in relation to potential closures of stations in which all aspects of community consultation, and development of alternative policing strategies are considered in detail. These plans are discussed with the Policing and Community Partnerships (PCSPs) before being submitted to the Policing Board for consideration, review and endorsement prior to any action being taken to close a station. It is evident that there is a clear linkage between a potential closure of an under-utilised PSNI station and the development of a more flexible, responsive facility enabling greater access by the community and providing a more direct and open policing service. The expectation is that more officers would be available for front line policing, as officers will no longer be required to guard PSNI stations for example.
The PSNI recognises that a communication and information sharing strategy addressing concerns of local communities is essential to providing reassurance where reviews of stations are being progressed. In addition, it is recognised that a review of the effectiveness of policing strategies should be conducted at local level after the closure of specific stations, to ensure service provision is maintained and enhanced.