Police get board nod to sell rural station

Borders Divisional Commander chief Superintendent Graham Sinclair and Deputy Divisional Commander Superintendent Andrew Allan discuss the proposed budget cuts at monday's press conference.
Borders Divisional Commander chief Superintendent Graham Sinclair and Deputy Divisional Commander Superintendent Andrew Allan discuss the proposed budget cuts at monday's press conference.
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NEWCASTLETON police station is to be sold.

The move, which was revealed last month, was rubber-stamped at a meeting of the Lothian and Borders Police Board this week.

It is expected to save in the region of £4,000, with plans to shut stations in Innerleithen and West Linton taking the total savings to just under £14,000.

At a recent meeting of Newcastleton Community Council fears were aired about the imminent sale, despite the facility being unused for some time.

In a letter to Chief Inspector Graham Sinclair, chairman Terry Murphy wrote: “The community is extremely concerned at the proposed removal of any police presence and feel that this can only be a retrograde step in the life and expansion of our area.”

A number of concerns were put forward including the loss of police signage; housing the police station inside the fire station or other community building; what happens in the event of a major incident – the station was used during the Lockerbie disaster and foot and mouth; and improved communication links with the police.

In a response to the letter, Chief Inspector Sinclair (pictured) said this week: “My understanding was that there was a qualification attached to the sale of Newcastleton concerning options to deliver a visible police presence in the community that also took account of the lack of mobile coverage.”