Concerns over police presence in Peeblesshire
Published: 3 Jan 2013 09:300 comments
Tweeddale East Councillor Gavin Logan, who represented Scottish Borders Council on the Police Board until last year, revealed he had been left angry and disappointed when he discovered that the Community Contact Vehicles had not been provided yet to cover the closures of Innerleithen and West Linton Police Stations.
The surprise admission came during an update on policing in the Scottish Borders at last month's local authority meeting. The presentation was made by Deputy Chief Constable Bill Skelly just a few months after both Tweeddale Police Stations were closed as part of money saving measures.
When the proposals were first announced in October 2011 Councillor Logan launched a campaign. He argued, and received unanimous support from other Police Board members that Community Contact Vehicles should be provided to give enhanced police presence in Tweeddale. He told the Peeblesshire News: "I asked why these vehicles had not been provided yet and it transpired that they are on "order". It is important that a service should be provided in rural communities like large areas of Tweeddale. It really disappointing that a year on these vehicles have yet to be provided. I have been told that they are now on order and I eagerly await their appearance."
His views were echoed by George Brown, Chairman of Innerleithen Community Council who said: "While I understand that there are growing pressures on the Police budgets it is vital that there is Police support in the town. Even if they were to pay a visit once a week to hear local concerns it would make a real difference. We often hear concerns from the public at our monthly meetings and some of these issues could be addressed by the police if they were available to speak to people in the town."
Lothian and Borders Police along with other authorities across Scotland were asked to identify savings and the controversial decision to close Police stations was met with considerable opposition. Stations were selected according to their level of usage with Innerleithen and West Linton both closing their doors earlier this year.