An admission that there was probably not enough public consultation prior to the closure of police counters, including the one in Brechin has been made at a meeting of Angus Council.
Speaking at a full council meeting, Councillor Iain Whyte, a member of the Scottish Police Authority Board, said they would have liked more public consultation over the closure of front counters at police stations but they were under pressure to make a lot of savings. He said the closure of some counters were part of these savings.
“We had to look at areas where counters were not being used very often,” he added.
“Considerable savings were made with these counter closures and that money is being used to put police out and about. The police are not stuck in offices they are out patrolling the streets.”
He added that the board had made £63 million of savings and crime was at a 39 year low although he admitted that rural crime was still causing problems and remained a challenge.
He explained that the police authority were not happy that there had not been enough forward thinking regarding the provision of public services but they were keen that services could be provided jointly with local authorities, perhaps by using council access offices.
Councillor Bob Myles said that although the police 101 number worked well, there were still sections of the community that liked to go to report a situation in person and that the removal of the counters had taken away that facility.
Councillor Myles added that in Kirriemuir and Monifieth the police had a good relationship with the access office and he would like to see that extended to other towns.
He said it would be good to provide a ‘one stop shop’ for people to access council and police services.
Councillor Whyte agreed that the police and the council could work together to provide more joined-up public services.