THE public are to be asked their views on the future of Hillsborough police station, during a six-week consultation.
Lisburn Area Commander, Chief Inspector Darrin Jones is inviting local people to take part in the process - beginning on January 30 - which will look at Hillsborough and Dunmurry.
Chief Inspector Jones said: “A final decision has not been made on the future of either station and I would encourage people to use this consultation to make their feelings known.
“People will be aware that we have been carrying out a major review of police buildings in D District. As part of that review I have had to look very closely at all of the stations in my Area, including Dunmurry and Hillsborough, to ensure we are using all of our resources in the most effective and efficient way to ensure we provide the best possible personal, professional and protective policing service to local people.
“In Northern Ireland we have a pattern of police stations unlike any other part of the United Kingdom. The current police estate remains 70 per cent bigger in comparison to other UK police services of comparable size. It reflects the demands of a very different era in policing.
“Our aim is that policing should be a part of the local community. However, underused buildings will not achieve this - investment in police officers and staff working in the local community will. “Recent restructuring across the police service has delivered an additional 57 police officers to front-line duties in D District, 25 of these serve the greater Lisburn area. Our Neighbourhood Policing Teams are working with their local communities, identifying and working to resolve the issues which matter most to local people.
“Overall levels of reported crime in Northern Ireland are at a 12-year low. This reduction has been delivered by the public working in partnership with police officers, not by police buildings. “The public are increasingly engaging with police in different ways – from online reporting of non-emergency and hate crime, contacting local Neighbourhood Policing Teams directly through telephone numbers provided on our website or via Facebook. “As a result of people increasingly using these alternative means to interact with police, fewer people are visiting or using police stations. “I encourage everyone with an interest in or influence on policing to participate in the debate. I have asked my local Sector Inspectors to lead on the consultation in their respective areas.
“You can contact Dunmurry Sector Inspector Mark Robinson by emailing email@example.com or by writing to him at Inspector Mark Robinson, Dunmurry PSNI Station, 103 Kingsway, Belfast, BT17 9NS.
“You can contact Hillsborough Sector Inspector Mark Shaw by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or by writing to him at Hillsborough PSNI Station, 12 Lisburn Road, Hillsborough, BT26 6AA .
“In the weeks ahead, we will inform you of opportunities to share your views.”