Gwent Police to close stations to the public in Caerphilly, Bargoed, Rhymney, Ystrad Mynach, Bedwas and Risca
Gwent Police has announced plans to close 17 of its stations to the public – including those in Caerphilly, Bargoed, Rhymney, Ystrad Mynach, Bedwas and Risca.
The stations will remain as bases for police officers but will be closed to visitors wishing to report crimes in person.
The changes, which were originally leaked to Caerphilly MP Wayne David last week, will see the loss of 19 front desk jobs.
Gwent Police has said the changes will save it £500,000. Due to budget cuts from the UK Government, the force has to find savings of £34 million by 2015 – so far it has achieved £17m.
Assistant Chief Constable Simon Prince said he wanted to reassure the public in light of the closures.
He said: “Our 24/7 presence will remain as strong as ever, giving rapid response to their calls for help and advice. Only the places and the ways we interact with them will change.
“While officers will still be visible in the community, society has changed the way it communicates with increased use of digital channels and we are finding innovative ways of meeting these needs.
“So far, we have been able to save money to meet the national budget cuts with just one redundancy. Unfortunately these changes mean that 19 station enquiry officer posts will be lost. We have been in discussions with Unison and each member of staff has been fully briefed and will be given the support they need and the opportunity to apply for vacancies within the force as they arise”
“It’s important to bear in mind that it’s officers, not buildings, who cut crime and we are determined that Gwent residents will continue to receive good policing services.”
Blackwood is the only station in Caerphilly County Borough that will still have a public front desk and will continue to be open from 8am to 8pm seven days a week. Only Newport Central will have 24-hour public access across the force area.
Gwent Police Unison branch secretary Linda Sweet said: “We’re concerned that this has come about. We’re also optimistic that staff can be found other posts at this time.
“These people are highly skilled and highly thought of in the organisation. They have a wealth of knowledge of the police service.”
Have your say below
Please review our commenting guidelines before posting a comment.