Published: 10/02/2014 11:04 - Updated: 10/02/2014 11:11

Police Scotland reveal new opening hours

NEW public opening hours have been revealed for Moray’s police offices.

The changes will come into effect from March 3.

Fochabers will be the only station in Moray with no public counter service.

There was a local campaign to keep the office open, led by local Councillor Sean Morton.

However, Police Scotland has said members of the public can still meet with police officers at stations with no public counter provision but must call 101 first, the Police Scotland non emergency number, to ensure someone is available to meet them.

And Elgin, currently Moray’s only 24 hour station, will move to 7am to midnight opening seven days a week.

Buckie will see its opening increased from 8am to 6pm seven days a week.

The offices at Forres, Keith, Lossiemouth and Rothes will all be open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Aboyne and Portsoy are the other stations in the Moray and Aberdeenshire command area which will have no public provision.

Assistant Chief Constable Wayne Mawson said: "Local policing remains the bedrock of the new service. The benefits of a single service are already being felt right across the country – with national specialist resource now meaning our local community team resource is further strengthened and supported.

"This means all areas have access to specialist expertise and equipment whenever and wherever required, and can draw flexibly on extra officers and specialist skills when local demand requires it.

"We have listened to all the views put forward and made changes to reflect this but an effective, modern policing service must evolve to reflect the communities we serve.

"These changes allow us to ensure more of the right people with the right skills are available at the right time and in the right places to serve communities in a manner that reflects the way people now live their lives.

"The review of Public Counters has contributed to this with Police Scotland committed to maximising police officers on the street and in communities working to keep people safe and to provide the high standards of service the public expects.

"Police Scotland has introduced a range of new ways for communities to contact them, including enhanced local policing, the new 101 non-emergency number and a strong national and local online presence. Along with the telephone, this is now how most people contact the police. All divisions now have the facility for members of the public to make appointments for police officers to visit them at their convenience to report crime, accidents or other matters requiring a police response."

Councillor Douglas Ross, chair of the Moray police and fire committee, said: "I am bit disappointed that Police Scotland said they would take on board the concerns that were raised in Moray but these proposals haven’t changed."

For more reaction to this story see ‘The Scot’ print version on Friday.

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