The row over access to Helensburgh Police Station continues as local MSP Jackie Baillie highlighted further temporary unplanned closures at the East King Street office.
The Helensburgh and Lomond MSP complained to Police Scotland after local residents raised fears that it was turning into a ‘ghost station’ due to a number of closures in recent weeks during its advertised opening hours.
Police Scotland admitted that there have been occasions when the station was closed during normal opening hours but insisted that the decision to close an office was not taken lightly and only due to exceptional circumstances.
However one local resident got in touch with the MSP to say that the station was closed again on the afternoon of Sunday 17 May. The man, who wanted to report a crime, waited outside the closed office with other local residents but was unable to gain access. When he returned over an hour later the station was still closed to the public.
The latest opening hours for Helensburgh Police Station were published in March last year following a Scotland-wide programme of cutbacks which led to the closure of police stations in Alexandria and Garelochhead. The East King Street office should be open from 9am -; 7pm Monday to Thursday and 12pm -10pm Friday to Sunday.
“I wrote to Police Scotland a number of weeks ago as soon as I was made aware of the problem but it seems that people who want to report a crime at Helensburgh Police Station are still left waiting outside in the street. These mystery closures seem to be happening more and more often in recent weeks and it is unacceptable that promises made little over a year ago on opening times are already being ignored.
“We need to know exactly what these exceptional circumstances are because the closures seem to be becoming a regular habit in Helensburgh. If Police Scotland is unable to balance operational demands with its commitment on opening times at Helensburgh Police Station then clearly it has to deal with the root cause of the problem and stop cutting staff numbers