TAYSIDE Police have abandoned controversial plans to move their Police Station in Crieff to new offices at the Strathearn Community Campus.
The police station in the Perthshire town has been based in offices in King Street for more than 100 years and there had been widespread opposition to the proposals to relocate to the community campus.
A spokeswoman for the force today confirmed that the move to the Strathearn Community Campus had been dropped as a result of the opposition to the proposals.
She said: “Tayside Police recently announced that they were exploring the opportunity to relocate their existing office from King Street in Crieff to shared accommodation at the Strathearn Community Campus. During November and December a public consultation process commenced, engaging with wide sections of the community to discuss the proposal. Whilst the consultation process was ongoing, work was also carried out to establish the cost benefits of such a move and following the tendering process, accurate costs were obtained.
“Meanwhile the results of the consultation process showed a strong feeling in the community that police should remain in their current location.”
Inspector Iain Ward, the senior officer for the area, said: “I am obviously disappointed about the outcome as I firmly believe this would have provided great opportunities for the community and the police to engage as policing moves forward.
“I also acknowledge the results of the consultation results, with community representatives being strongly against the move, I would like to thank those who became involved in the various groups and discussions and for showing their genuine interest in the way public services are delivered in the area, and their shared vision for Crieff especially.”
He added: “Tayside Police will become part of the Police Scotland on 1 April and my focus will be on maintaining the highest possible standards of policing in South Section. I will of course remain alert to opportunities to enhance our service in the future.”
Roseanna Cunningham, the SNP MSP for Perthshire South and Kinross-shire, welcomed the decision.
She said: “Tayside Police’s decision not to relocate Crieff Police office from King Street to Strathearn Community Campus is one that will be widely welcomed by the people of Crieff.
“The weight of opinion gathered by the consultation exercise was heavily opposed to the move and I believe that was an accurate reflection of local opinion. I am pleased that this has been taken into consideration in reaching this decision.”
She added: “I note with interest that the costs of relocation were also a stumbling block and I trust that public opinion will again be taken into account should there be any further proposals to move out of the King Street premises.”