Gloucestershire

Nine Gloucestershire police stations due to close

Police car in Gloucestershire
Image caption Gloucestershire Police say they will step up patrols in areas where stations are closing

Nine police stations are to close in Gloucestershire under budget cut plans of £18m by the county force.

Gloucestershire Constabulary said it had to take the decision under the savings plan over the next four years.

Stations to close include Bussage, Leckhampton, Wotton, Berkeley, Bourton, Moreton and Nailsworth.

Rob Garnham, of the police authority, said: "I can guarantee we're not withdrawing police from these areas."

Mr Garnham said: "When you look at the state of some of the buildings and the money that would have to be spent on maintenance, in an atmosphere of cuts and trying to save jobs, tough decisions have had to be made."

The force, which will also be shutting the station at, Newent and Tutshill, has made a commitment to step up "visible" police patrols by 15% throughout the county.

'Response assured'

In some cases, the stations will be replaced by "police points" in local libraries or council offices. To serve other communities, police officers will be based in nearby towns.

The aim is to sell the police buildings once they are vacated.

The county's chief constable Tony Melville added: "I understand that people in Gloucestershire feel a certain level of reassurance in seeing a police building in their community, but I can assure them that the closure of these buildings will not negatively impact on our presence in those communities."

Mr Garnham said that in many cases, finding a local police station that was closed was more frustrating than having to contact a more distant station where a response would be assured.

Decisions are still to be taken over the future of eight other police stations in the county.

Gloucestershire Police says it hopes to have clarified the future of Bishops Cleeve, Brockworth, Fairford, Lydney, Stonehouse, Tetbury, Whaddon and Winchcombe by the summer.

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