THE public are being invited to give their views on plans to close and dispose of a number of police stations including one in the Scottish Borders.

On Thursday December 14 Police Scotland has announced plans to consult and engage the public on proposals to close 29 police stations and other buildings across the country which it says are now surplus to requirements,

Officers and staff would be moved to other locations. None of these building are in the Scottish Borders.

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In addition, Police Scotland will carry out consultation and engagement on a further 16 properties, which are all already vacant or are plots of land with no buildings. As such there is no public access to these properties.

This consultation includes Coldstream Police Station which has been vacant for more than four years. Officer and staff currently deploy from other nearby police stations.

Plans to close a further 14 properties will be brought forward at a later date.

Properties have been selected for potential disposal under the Service’s estate strategy, which seeks to move toward co-location with partners where possible to ensure services are delivered in the most efficient and effective way.

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As part of the review, local Divisional Commanders have been asked to identify where they would want to locate their resources to better meet the demands of 21st century policing and to highlight any buildings in their areas that are underused, surplus to requirements or where there could be opportunities to rationalise buildings or co-locate with partners.

Deputy Chief Constable, Malcolm Graham said: “Our estate needs to be fit for 21st century policing, putting service enhancement, visibility, and engagement at the heart of the communities we serve.

“These are core components of the legitimacy and consent on which policing in Scotland relies.

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“Our presence in communities is not defined by buildings but by the officers and staff who work there, and we have already introduced technology that enables our officers to remain in local areas, reducing the need for them to return to police stations to deal with paperwork.

“We are determined to continue to improve our visibility and accessibility, as well as to bring partners together to deliver services in the most efficient and effective way.

“The buildings in which our officers and staff work need to be safe, functional spaces, and they need to be sustainable and adaptable enough to meet changing public expectations and the changing nature of policing.”

He added: “Police Scotland inherited a very large and ageing estate, much of which was not fit for purpose, with high maintenance costs and environmental inefficiencies.

“The locations of many inherited buildings no longer meet the requirements of local communities and in some cases the organisation is currently maintaining multiple buildings in the same geographic area, less than five miles apart.

“Some of the buildings are just a few miles apart, others are used by only a handful of police officers or staff and have no public access, while many are rarely visited by a member of the public.

“For the majority of properties, the proposed moves will be an average of four miles from their current location.

“Local communities will therefore continue to receive the same high level of service from officers, and still from within their local area.

“We now have more than 60 co-locations with partners, providing more sustainable, more modern, and safer workspaces for our people.

“We have great examples of successful partnerships in the North East, Perthshire, Forth Valley, and Ayrshire among others and this will continue to be an important part of ensuring policing in Scotland is prepared for the future.

“We understand and are sensitive to community concerns around changes involving police buildings and as we bring forward proposals we wish to communicate our proposals to the public and our staff and seek their feedback. Please do view our plans and let us know your thoughts.

“The financial savings of these property disposals would be re-invested into providing policing services.

“As part of our transformation work we are in the early stages of progressing plans for other sites across the country.

“As plans are developed and submitted for approval to the Scottish Police Authority we will undertake consultation with local communities, key stakeholders and trade unions, statutory staff associations, and impacted staff.

“We continuously review our estate as part of our normal business and this will continue. As part of this work, we may identify other properties that are considered surplus and appropriate engagement and consultation will be undertaken.

"To review the proposals and have your say visit our engagement hub on the Police Scotland website."