Carryduff cop shop on ‘for sale’ list

By Scott Jamison

Carryduff Police Station is believed to be one of those that will be closed permanently and its land sold off within the next three years as part of the Policing Board’s estates strategy announced last week.

Sources say the station, which became a ‘shop front’ service in February, was one of 35 mentioned for selling off during a private meeting of the board on Friday.

If endorsed by the board, it would see the Old Saintfield Road station closed permanently and its land put up for sale by 2015. Nearby stations such as Saintfield, Holywood and Knocknagoney are also believed to be under threat, as well as Donegall Pass.

No final decision will be made until the board’s monthly meeting in December.

Castlereagh Alliance Party councillor Geraldine Rice said the reassurance of having the Old Saintfield Road station as even a part-time outlet was good for local people.

“When the station was closing we were told it would be replaced with more police on the ground in Carryduff. That has not happened and we are left without a proper service.

“That is not to criticise the police themselves because they simply don’t have the resources to do their job properly. All in all it’s not a very happy situation here concerning this.”

Cllr Rice, who sits on the Castlereagh District Policing Partnership (DPP), said the unique geography of Carryduff meant instead of closing its local police station, more PSNI services were needed.

“The major problem here is Carryduff is a growing town, with more apartments being green-lit on a regular basis. The local DPP were told by the PSNI that the station was not in the right place.

“But Carryduff has no real centre so nowhere else would have made it any better.

“The nearest station to Carryduff is now Dundonald but it’s not close enough for people to call in, especially elderly people who like the security of having a police station near to them.”

A Policing Board spokesperson said no details on the estates strategy would be issued until it was considered by the board.

“Ensuring the police estate meets current and future policing requirements is a key priority for the board. As the owners of the police estate, the board needs to be satisfied the estate is being managed effectively and efficiently.

“Board members have asked for further information on a number of issues. The strategy, which covers the budget period to 2015, will now be considered by the board at its December meeting.”

 

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