The PSNI has announced that the sale of Ballyclare Police Station has been put on hold.
The move comes just a matter of hours after police said the facility was to ‘disposed of’, sparking concerns among local political representatives and members of the public.
In a statement released yesterday (Tuesday), Assistant Chief Constable Stephen Martin said: “During 2015 the Police Service of Northern Ireland carried out a review of its estate as a result of significant budget reductions as well as the recent restructure within frontline policing to mirror new Council boundaries. We have now identified 12 stations which are no longer required to carry out our daily business effectively. None of these stations are open to the public and there are no police officers or staff working in them.
“We are aware that station closures are an emotive issue and can have an effect on community confidence. As such the Chief Constable has decided to suspend the current process to allow him time to review the risks, benefits and implications of the proposals and be personally satisfied that any closures are considered against any impact this would have on the community.
“The PSNI will continue to discuss the matter with The Northern Ireland Policing Board, which is responsible for making decisions on the disposal and sale of all parts of the police estate. The community will be updated on the outcome of these discussions in due course.”
This announcement was welcomed by South Antrim DUP MLA Paul Girvan, who said: “I welcome the the comments made from the Chief Constable’s office. It gives us some confidence that they are actually listening to what happens in our community.”
While Ballyclare Police Station has not been operational for some time, some political and community representatives in the town have raised concerns about the future of policing in the area if the Ballynure Road facility is disposed of.
The Chair of the Ballyclare and District Policing and Community Forum, Valerie Jenkins said: “If the station is to be sold, will the money that is made from the sale be put back into Ballyclare or will it go into the public purse? If Ballyclare is losing the police station, we need to be reassured that the money made is coming into our area.”
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