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Turriff Police Station loses front desk as national round of voluntary redundancies start

By David Porter

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A MAJOR round of voluntary redundancies in cash-strapped Police Scotland is starting to come into effect as a north-east station in Turriff is set to lose its staffed front desk.

Turriff Police Station will lose its front desk coverage from next week.
Turriff Police Station will lose its front desk coverage from next week.

In March, Police Scotland said it was looking to cut around 200 civilian jobs from roles including 999 call centre workers, custody officers and forensics adding further pressure on staff remaining and frontline officers.

It was confirmed this week that Turriff Police Station will lose its front desk.

In a statement local Inspector for Formartine Barry Stewart said: “From Wednesday, May 22 there will no longer be a staffed public counter at Turriff. Our current Public Enquiry and Support Assistant had applied for voluntary redundancy and this was accepted by Police Scotland. As such the post will not be filled once she has left the Organisation.”

He continued: “There is still public counter provision at Banff and the other routes of contacting the Police (contact us, 101 etc.) remain open to Turriff residents. Most importantly the uniformed Police resource in Turriff will remain in the heart of that community and is not unduly affected by the redundancy. There is however, no guarantee that Officers will always be available at the Police Station and as such these other methods of contacting the Police ought to be considered first”.

Police Scotland remain committed to the residents of Turriff and will strive to ensure your concerns continue to be addressed in a proportionate and appropriate manner.”

Commenting on the announcement North East MSP Douglas Lumsden said: “The closure of Turriff Police Station’s front desk will be disastrous for community policing and will undoubtedly create problems for tackling crimes across the town. As waiting times increase because of this, more frustrated callers might hang up and dial 999 which could add even more pressure to the system. Public counters like these are part of the fabric of our communities and are an important reminder of the visible police presence in local areas.But this announcement will cause alarm to Turriff residents and potentially make people less safe at a time when some Aberdeenshire crimes are not being investigated under a cost-cutting pilot project. I hope to raise this closure in parliament as public safety will continue to be put at risk unless SNP ministers make policing a priority rather than an afterthought in their reckless pursuit of cutting budgets.”

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