Already limited opening hours at Dungiven station are to be cut by 50 per cent, according to local policing plans.
Currently, the station on Main Street is open each Tuesday for two hours, according to the PSNI website. However, that is to be chopped in half. Police say the reduced hours will come into effect as soon as it can be arranged.
Under a plan entitled “Dungiven Area Engagement”, PSNI Neighbourhood Inspector, Jenny Hudson says the move is in a bid to deliver a more flexible service to Dungiven and surrounding areas with the plan to open the station on alternate Tuesdays,
When the station is not open, the mobile police station would be parked in various locations around Dungiven and also visit Feeny, Burnfoot, Gortnaghey and the Foreglen.
Officers will also be deployed in the area, on foot and on bike patrols.
Insp. Hudson said the PSNI website would be used to advertise where the mobile station and officers would be, but that would depend on the security situation.
“We want you to tell us what the issues are and we will respond,” she said, at last week’s meeting of Limavady DPP. “We will review the plan on a monthly basis to see if you think it’s working.””
Police will also be working with community representatives to develop surgeries in local community “houses”.
“These locations will be inclusive and will reflect the diversity of the local population,”” said Insp. Hudson.
Earlier this year, it was revealed that no one had visited Dungiven station in the last 12 months.
However, Insp Hudson said no decision had been taken by the Policing Board that Dungiven was an appropriate station to close.
She did, however, admit; “People are not coming to Dungiven Police Station and we need to find a way to engage with the community of Dungiven.”
DPP member and SDLP councillor Michael Coyle said he had a difficulty with the concept of a mobile police station and believed a police shop was the best way forward, and said police should be working towards that. He believed the idea of police going into a specific community group and renting a room was unsuitable.
Area Commander, Chief Inspector Sam Donaldson, said if Colr Coyle was referring to a “cop shop” set-up that was something police would like to see.