THE top police officer in the Borders has welcomed a major upgrade of the cells complex at Galashiels Police Station.

The works had provoked fears by certain members of the Hawick community that the cells would close at Wilton Hill station.

But this has been denied by Police Scotland.

Speaking at a meeting of the Police, Fire and Rescue and Safer Communities Board at Scottish Borders Council's headquarters this morning (Friday), chief superintendent John McKenzie – divisional commander for the Lothians and Scottish Borders division – said the revamp

would benefit policing in the region.

He said: "I do not want Borders officers going up and down the A7 to and from Dalkeith."

Chief superintendent McKenzie said he was fully aware of the concerns that the role of Hawick's station would be diminished but he added that the upgrade at Galashiels was long overdue.

He pointed out that Galashiels to Hawick was a fair distance as well and that having upgraded cells in Galashiels would reduce travelling times for officers.