Closed for Business: Police Public Counters in Fife shut for up to a quarter of the year
Information revealed via FOI request by Mid-Scotland and Fife MSP, Murdo Fraser, has shown that Police Public counters in Fife are shut up to a quarter of the year.
In 2017, the counter in Dalgety Bay was closed 25% of the time whilst the figure in St Andrews was 15%.
In 2014 Police Scotland took the controversial decision to close or reduce the operating hours at public counters across the country, with both Dalgety Bay and St Andrews suffering this fate.
The counters are advertised as being open 260 days a year between the hours of 9am and 5pm.
On 22 days in 2017 the Dalgety Bay counter was closed in order for officers to cover shortages in Dunfermline.
Commenting Murdo Fraser MSP said;
“When Police Scotland originally made the decision to downgrade and close counters across the country it was done with the understanding that those remaining counters would be open as advertised. This is clearly not happening in Fife.
“Ultimately, the loser in all of this is the public and it’s really important people can go to a police station as and when they need to. “Many elderly and vulnerable residents will prefer to speak to an officer face to face and the failure to provide that, even on a reduced timetable, is bitterly disappointing. The last thing people in Dalgety Bay want to hear is that their community officers are off covering shortages in Dunfermline.
“Ultimately, I fully understand the staffing pressures Police Scotland is operating under and these closures will no doubt be a result of this, therefore it is important that the Scottish Government properly supports police officers in our communities.”