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Last Updated: Friday, 19 September, 2003, 11:05 GMT 12:05 UK
Station closure decision criticised
Holywood Police Station
Holywood Police Station is to be closed overnight
Critics of a decision to close a north Down police station overnight from the end of the month have claimed the move will destroy confidence in the police in the area.

Holywood police station will operate on restricted opening hours from 0800 in the morning until 2000 in the evening from the end of September.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) say the move, which is being made as part of planned security measures, will mean more officers can be freed up for patrols.

Under the new arrangements, calls will be dealt with by Bangor police station, about ten miles away.

Holywood DUP councillor and member of North Down district policing partnership, Alex Easton, criticised the decision.

"I've already had phone calls about this, and people are not going to take this lightly," he said on Friday.

"There's certainly a lot of anger and bewilderment that this decision has been taken.

"In my opinion, it doesn't make sense and I don't think it's a good trend for policing in north Down."

The PSNI have stressed that a 24-hour response will still be available in the Holywood area.

BBC NI's June Woolerton reports:
"Critics claim it will send out the wrong signal to criminals"

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