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PSNI to close office in Portadown

By David Young

Plans to close the Portadown PSNI enquiry office will lead to the town having no public access to the police, the DUP has claimed.

David Simpson MP and Jonathan Buckley MLA hit out at the closure of the facility, which is based inside the town's Edward Street police station.

They said the move will mean the complete closure of the station - leaving Portadown as the only major town in the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council area without a PSNI base.

It would mean that the nearest police stations to Portadown would be in Lurgan and Armagh.

Upper Bann MLA Mr Buckley told the Belfast Telegraph last night that the proposed closure was very worrying.

He said: "This will have an adverse effect on Portadown as the last remaining service in the Edward Street station will now finish - meaning the closure of the station.

"To have a presence in a town the size of Portadown is very important, especially when it comes to reporting crimes.

"Protection and providing a police service for the community is vitally important.

"It is very disappointing that this action has been taken."

Mr Simpson said the town would be left without an operational police station.

"Now the nearest stations will be either seven miles away in Lurgan or 11 miles away in Armagh," the MP said.

"Continuing to strip away services like this will have a devastating impact on our towns and villages."

The PSNI said that the way the public interacted with police had changed and advances in technology had made it possible for police to deliver new ways of contact and engagement.

"While the closure of the enquiry office at Edward Street may cause some inconvenience, the public can still contact police 24/7 by phoning 101, and 999 in an emergency," it said.

"The public can also visit enquiry offices in Lurgan, Banbridge or Armagh.

"They can avail of information and online crime reporting on the PSNI website.

"And they can find out about local policing and engage with local officers on PSNI social media sites."

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