Fylde police stations under threat

Poulton police station

Poulton police station

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THE axe is hanging over police stations on the Fylde coast after it was revealed all except the main Blackpool HQ are under threat.

It follows news frontline officers will be withdrawn from Poulton station to work out of Fleetwood from June.

They will join officers from Cleveleys station who were redeployed to Fleetwood three years ago. A police spokesman said the changes were a result of a move towards using a more efficient single operating centre – one base where all officers will deploy from – in Wyre.

But councillor Ian Perkin, a former area commander in Wyre believes the move is simply cost cutting under the disguise of efficiency.

Describing the plans as “unworkable”, Coun Perkin said “The implications of this move will mean less, if any, officers on the streets of Poulton to police the night time economy and it will lead to a rise in crime and anti social behaviour.”

Following the Government’s spending cuts Lancashire Police must save £42m in the next four years.

The force, which has an annual budget of £287m will axe around 550 officers and 250 civilian staff from its 6,000-strong workforce, as well as around 160 from the front-line.

Fylde councillor Liz Oades said she was extremely concerned about rumours Kirkham Police Station may close.

She said; “I had heard that the future of the station was in doubt but police have continued to deny the station will close.

“I will be furious if after spending thousands of pounds of public money on a refurbishment they close it or reduce it to reception staff only.”

Barbara McKenzie, chairman of St Annes Town Council, told The Gazette the most frequent complaint at PACT meetings was the police station not being open enough.

She said: “If the station closes or officers are sent to another station residents will be furious, in fact it will be useless.”

A police spokesman confirmed all stations on the Fylde coast were under review including Kirkham, Cleveleys, St Annes and Bispham.

FOR THE FULL STORY SEE TUESDAY’S GAZETTE