Berwick police officer levels are unaffected
The number of police officers based at Berwick will stay the same, even though opening hours at the front office on Church Street have been cut.
The station had previously been open 24 hours a day but is now open from 9am to 5pm, five days a week.
Ch Supt Sharon Scott addressed Berwick Town Council on Monday night to allay any concerns.
She said: “The number of officers at Berwick will remain exactly the same and there are no plans to remove any.”
Berwick currently has a sergeant and five police constables and a 24/7 response team supplemented by neighbourhood officers.
Neighbourhood Inspector Liz Hall added that three police specials would bolster the ranks further from September.
Force-wide, three police stations are closing and only one will be open 24/7.
“People aren’t using police station front offices like they used to,” said Ch Supt Scott. “People are using different ways to communicate with us, whether it’s through the internet or by mobile phone. Very few people walk around to the station and ask for assistance.”
She said that CCTV would still be in operation and could be checked in the event of an incident. When the front office is closed, the phone outside will still be available.
The savings that are generated will be used to support operational policing and invest in greater accessibility. There are no plans to close any operational stations. There are 47 bases located in communities, an increase of seven in recent years.
Further investment will also be put into the 101 contact centres to make significant improvements to the current service.
UNISON says the station closures are far too radical and say it will inevitably lead to redundancies plus a large number of staff receiving a 25% pay cut.