AN ‘outraged’ and ‘absolutely disgusted’ Councillor Carol Black says Dromore residents are demanding an explanation for what she called the ‘ludicrous’ proposal, now formalised, to close the town’s police station.
The Dromore Ulster Unionist Councillor said it remained to be seen, if the station closed, whether there would be any realisation of some local fears that it would serve as an invitation to burglars and other criminals, but she pledged to “keep a very close eye” on PSNI statistics if the closure went ahead.
“The local community should have proper evidence and we will be demanding to know why the PSNI have decided to close Dromore,” she said. “What are the reasons behind such a ludicrous decision?”
Councillor Black lamented the formal proposal to close the station as another in a string of decisions undermining service provision in the area.
“We need our facilities,” she said. “Next year we will again be facing the Southern Health and Social Care Trust to discuss Skeagh House (spared closure after a successful public campaign) while for years now we have remained in need of a new primary school despite securing a site and planning approval; then this year we learn of the renewed threat to our police station.
“Surely removing the police station destroys the bedrock of any town or village and is taking the very heart out of the town.”
With the closure of Dromara Police Station, she said, and the threat to both Dromore and Hillsborough, a situation loomed whereby there would be no single police station across a large rural area.
“Not good enough!” she said. “Again the rural community suffers; this is a very rural area and it will not have a single police station.
“I really think this needs to be looked at again and proper consideration given to the rural community.”
With the formal closure proposal still to go before the Policing Board for a final decision, Ms. Black pledged not to take the matter lightly and to lobby the Board in defence of Dromore Police Station.