As part of the transition to a single police force the opening hours for Stornoway Police Station will decrease and from the end of March will be open from 8am to 8pm seven days a week. Currently the Police Station is open 24 hours a day seven days a week.
A spokesperson for the Northern Constabulary confirmed: “As of the end of March, the Stornoway Police Station reception will be open to the public from 08:00 hours until 20:00 hours seven days a week. It will remain as an operational police station 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with officers working out of the station and in communities, providing a local policing response.”
Western Isles Area Commander, Chief Inspector Gordon Macleod recently attended a meeting of the Comhairle’s Environment and Protective Services Committee. Speaking to the Gazette after the meeting Inspector Macleod said about the changing opening hours: “This concerns opening hours for front desk staff, it does not mean we will be locking the doors at 8pm.
“However, we have to advertise to the public those opening times as we’re aware that there may be circumstances – staff sickness for example – when we may have to close the doors.”
He added: “If there are police in the station though, we will not be locking doors.”
Opening hours at other Western Isles Police Stations are to remain the same.
And from yesterday a new national non-emergency contact number, 101, was launched. All non-emergency calls within the Highlands and Islands will be directed into the Force Operations Centre in Inverness. Calls will receive an appropriate response or be transferred to the person you need to speak to.
A spokesperson for the Northern Constabulary said: “As part of the improvement of call handling in Northern Constabulary and in line with the introduction of a national non-emergency contact number. All non-emergency calls within the Highlands and Islands will be directed into the Force Operations Centre in Inverness. Calls will receive an appropriate response or be transferred to the person you need to speak to.
She added: “People can still dial 999 in an emergency and for non-emergencies can still contact police on a 24 hour basis by telephoning their nearest police station or 101 the national non-emergency number. Telephones will also be made available outside all police stations which have reduced reception hours.
“Northern Constabulary is committed to a community model of policing which understands the needs of its communities across the Highlands and Islands and seeks to maintain the highest levels of frontline policing, and give the best possible, high quality and effective service within the available funding.
“Policing is a 24/7 service which will not change. By improving the way in which the public can access the service for non-emergency incidents, we can ensure they receive the most appropriate response and the best possible level of service.”