THE PSNI has rejected calls to replace an ‘unwelcoming’ Strabane police station but have confirmed that work has been undertaken to reduce its visual impact.
In a letter to PSNI Constable George Hamilton, SDLP MLA Daniel McCrossan urged the PSNI to consider replacing the current “antagonistic” police station that he felt “ostracised” local policing.
In a response, Assistant Chief Constable (ACC) Alan Todd rejected Mr McCrossan’s request because of a “high security threat” and the subsequent “operational need” in Strabane. He said the station is “fit for purpose” for current operational need and foreseeable future, and the existing police station assets have not reached the end of their life, negating the justification for a new station.
“The Assistant Chief Constable’s letter is disappointing given the current state of the police station along with its unwelcoming and antagonistic appearance,” Mr McCrossan said.
“I understand that there are security concerns but that can be said for many towns across the North, including Omagh which has a new, welcoming and open police station whereas Strabane is left with a relic from the past. This is off-putting for many people especially those who are visiting the station to give statements or to report crimes. This is actually counter-intuitive to all the initiatives the PSNI have to engage more with local communities.”
Moreover, ACC Todd confirmed there is no long term plan to replace the entire station.
Remedial work such as replacement fencing and the removal of cages at the request of neighbours has already been undertaken.