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Thursday, 2 May, 2002, 20:17 GMT 21:17 UK
Only three NI police stations to close
Police stations in some rural areas were under threat
Police stations in some rural areas were under threat
Only three Northern Ireland police stations are set to close, it was announced on Thursday.

The Policing Board had been examining the future of 24 stations.

However, acting chief constable Colin Cramphorn said he was only recommending the closures of Springfield Road station in west Belfast, Castlehill station in Dungannon, County Tyrone, and Corry Square in Newry, County Down.

Mr Cramphorn made the announcement during a public meeting of the Policing Board.
Jeffrey Donaldson: New concept
Jeffrey Donaldson: New concept

The news will be welcomed by some unionist politicians who had voiced concerns about a mass closure of police stations.

Last month, Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson said there was an alternative to closing some rural police stations in Northern Ireland.

He said community agencies could work with the police and share the costs of operating the threatened stations.

At an ealrlier meeting of the Policing Board, Mr Cramphorn said the number of stations to be closed would not be as large as had been anticipated.

He said most of the 26 small police stations which had been earmarked for closure have been reprieved.

Mr Donaldson said he hoped both Dunmurry and Dromara stations would be reprieved.

He said one possible concept in preserving stations would be through the police working with other agencies to make use of the facilities which are under-used in stations "to provide a wider range of services".

The Ulster Unionist party has warned that the closures would lead to an increase in crime.

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 ON THIS STORY
BBC NI's Noreen Erskine:
"The Policing Board had been examining the future of 24 station"
See also:

08 Aug 01 | Northern Ireland
Unionist concern over police stations
15 Feb 01 | Northern Ireland
Concern about RUC station 'closures'
27 Oct 00 | Northern Ireland
Profile: Jeffrey Donaldson
05 Apr 02 | Northern Ireland
'Plan' over police station closures
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