New Nairn police station's opening hours criticised

Nairn police station opening ceremony. Pic: Northern Constabulary Nairn police station was offficially opened during a ceremony on Tuesday

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A new £1.6m police station will only be open to the public from 0800 GMT-2000 GMT, according to a union.

The building at Nairn was among stations Northern Constabulary said last month could have to operate at reduced hours because of budget cuts.

Public service union Unison Scotland said it would be a shame if the new station, which has just been officially opened, was so underused.

Nairn is one of 10 stations that could have their opening hours limited.

The others are Lerwick on Shetland, Kirkwall on Orkney, Stornoway on Lewis and Portree on Skye.

They are also, Thurso, Alness, Aviemore, Dornoch and Tain. A further 16 stations could be closed down.

'Intercom system'

Unison Scotland said Nairn was an impressive facility.

But a spokesman added: "With the budget cuts proposed to be implemented from March 2011, this station is going to be only staffed by police staff from 8am to 8pm.

"There will be police officers on duty as normal but they will now be expected to undertake the administrative duties that are presently being done by the police staff.

"If members of the public require to speak to someone outwith these hours, there will be an intercom system at the front entrance which will link to the force control room in Inverness."

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