THE PSNI has pulled out of Glengormley police station with the facility no longer be ing open to the public.
The PSNI has announced that the Antrim Road facility’s limited opening hours will end as of Monday, June 4.
The station will open to the public tomorrow (Friday), between 7pm and 8pm for the last time.
The Glengormley Neighbourhood Policing Team has relocated to Newtownabbey headquarters on the Shore Road in the past week and local Inspector, Martin Ruddy, will join them there as from Monday.
The Glengormley facility will effectively be used on an “as and when basis” until its eventual closure, which is expected in the next financial year.
A police spokesman said: “If it is more convenient for the Neighbourhood Teams to use Glengormley police station, they will use it.”
The police station is expected to be sold off by the PSNI after plans were approved by the Policing Board earlier this year.
Area Commander, Chief Inspector Stephen Reid said: “The decision was taken to close Glengormley station, following a comprehensive public consultation process and a series of detailed discussions and meetings between the Northern Ireland Policing Board and PSNI.
“I have decided to review the limited opening hours to ensure we are making best use of available resources. Currently, members of Antrim Line Neighbourhood Policing Team come off mobile patrol to staff the station enquiry office for three hours per week - on Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings from 7pm until 8pm.
“The reality is very few members of the public have called at the station each month to avail of this service. In order to optimise police officers’ time and provide high visibility reassurance patrols in the heart of the community, I have decided to finish the limited opening hours for Glengormley PSNI station with effect from Monday.
“I want to reassure people that the closure of Glengormley police station does not equate to a reduction in service. Neighbourhood Officers for Antrim Line will still patrol their assigned beat areas and can be contacted on their personal mobile devices. This I believe offers personal policing in the local community.
“Mobile contact details of all Neighbourhood Officers in the Newtownabbey area can be found on the Police Service of Northern Ireland website.”
Glengormley police station is one of numerous facilities which is to be disposed of as the PSNI looks to slash millions off its estate costs. Since January 2009 the station has been reduced to part-time opening.
In March, members of the public and politicians made an appeal to the PSNI to keep the station open.
During that meeting, Chief Inspector Reid revealed that, on average, only six people visited the station a month and it was costing over £160,000 to operate each year.
Alderman John Blair said: “I am surprised and disappointed at the limited advance notice to elected members which has come prior to the first meeting of the new Policing and Community Safety Partnership.
“At that meeting there might have been a useful opportunity to discuss how decisions are implemented to close the police station and the timescales thereof.”
Chair of Antrim Line Community Policing Forum, Nigel Hamilton added: “Our fear has always been that there will be inadequate policing cover in Glengormley following the station’s closure and we have sought assurances that the closure will not affect the level of policing.
“It has always been the intention of the police to close the station after they have wound it down so much and that is what has happened.”