Meetings sought over police station cuts plan

Urgent meetings have been sought over proposals to cut the daily operating hours at Banbridge Police Station.

Local MP David Simpson has requested talks with PSNI Commander David Moore to discuss the proposal to reduce operating times at the local police station by four hours each day - starting later this year.

Mr Simpson said: “It has been brought to my attention that Banbridge PSNI Station is to experience further cuts.

“This is a further blow to the town, which has only come to terms with Banbridge being marked as an un-operational station.

“We cannot ignore the level of drug crime that continues in Banbridge. In recent months it has been very much to the fore with serious crimes taking place in quiet residential areas of the town.”

In a statement to the Leader, Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon District Commander Superintendent David Moore said: “We have reviewed the operation of our station enquiry offices throughout Northern Ireland. This includes the enquiry office at Banbridge station.

“We will be discussing the matter with the Northern Ireland Policing Board and afterwards will speak to local communities about our plans.”

Mr Simpson added: “It is widely known that the level of access and presence of a PSNI station in any town promotes public confidence and assists with crime figures.

“It is a basic service that the people of Banbridge not only deserve but need.

“I will be meeting the PSNI in the coming days to do everything possible to protect Banbridge PSNI station from any unnecessary cuts.”