Highlands & Islands

Northern Constabulary confirms station closures

Image caption Northern Constabulary said officers would still be visible and accessible

Northern Constabulary has confirmed the closure of 16 police stations across the force area.

The move, which was agreed in principle in January, is part of efforts to save more than £4m following budget cuts.

The force said the closures would allow officer numbers to remain above a minimum of 761 for the coming year.

Broadford on Skye and Scalloway and Dunrossness on Shetland are among 14 stations which will close on 31 March, while two others will shut next year.

The list of closures this week includes Barvas, Carloway, Ness, Bettyhill, Lybster, Evanton, Cromarty, Carloway, Drumnadrochit and Ardersier and Beauly.

Spean Bridge and Tarbert in the Western Isles are earmarked for closure in 2012-13.

Northern Constabulary and the Northern Joint Police Board said the move would not have an impact on policing in the areas involved, and that officers would still be visible and accessible.

'Highly efficient'

Alternative provision has been put in place, including joint community premises and more regular police surgeries.

Deputy Chief Constable Andy Cowie said: "In recent years Northern Constabulary has carried out a significant amount of planning and preparation which puts us in a better position than many other forces or organisations to deal with the challenging years ahead.

"We are already highly efficient and have maximised resources into frontline policing.

"The measures taken to rationalise our estate and reception services allow us to retain the highest possible numbers of officers in our communities."

Northern Constabulary said closed police stations will be sold on the open market "in due course".

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