Police confirm station office closure but still no news on barrier

The police station in Edward Street.
The police station in Edward Street.

The enquiry office at Portadown’s Edward Street Police Station is to close from Monday, April 3, police have confirmed.

In a statement released today (Monday), they said the Portadown office would be one of six across the province closing.

They pointed out that the Edward Street station is not an operational police station, and has no police function other than as an enquiry office.

There is no indication yet if the closure will mean the dismantling of the barrier and the reopening of the street. The Portadown Times has asked the PSNI for more information on this and is awaiting a response.

Edward Street was approved for closure and disposal by NI Policing Board in 2009. Efforts to identify alternative enquiry office facilities in Portadown have proved unsuccessful to date, the statement said.

A review into the local office showed less than one visitor per hour per day in a two-week period from October 1-14, 2015.

In the second two-week period, November 14-27, 2016. there were 1.9 calls or callers per hour per day. In this period, 38 were phone calls. Of the 208 callers to the station, 43 were people signing bail and 26 were for prearranged meetings with police officers.

Police said Local Policing Teams are located at Lurgan and Armagh, while the Neighbourhood Team is based at Mahon Road, Portadown.

There will also be new station enquiry office opening hours in Armagh, Banbridge and Lurgan stations, with all three open to the public from 11am to 7pm, Monday to Friday, and closed at weekends and on public holidays. They will close between 3pm and 3.30pm for lunch.

Changes in opening hours will also come into effect on April 3.

Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd said, “People are choosing to contact us in a different way and we want to deliver what they want, in the way they have chosen while maintaining our frontline service.

“Digital access is what the public have chosen and, in this environment of changing public need and police resources, this is how we are designing for the future and providing best value for public money.

“Enquiry offices were conceived before the digital age. However, we appreciate that there are some services that require face to face interaction. When considering the changes to station enquiry opening hours we looked at demand and peak use to ensure the impact on the public is kept to a minimum.”