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Last Updated: Monday, 22 August 2005, 15:19 GMT 16:19 UK
Closure threat on bases is lifted
Lisbellaw police station
Lisbellaw police station is earmarked for closure
Two police stations in County Fermanagh earmarked for closure are to be retained, the police have said.

Irvinestown and Newtownbutler stations had been among eight to be closed in a review of the police estate in the county. Sinn Fein criticised the move.

DUP assembly member Arlene Foster welcomed the decision, and said there had been "widespread public concern about station closures".

"I remain gravely concerned about the closure of other stations," she said.

"Particularly at a time when terrorist and criminal activity is still a serious threat."

Sinn Fein MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone Michelle Gildernew criticised the decision as "pandering to rejectionist unionists".

I don't want to see police officers tied to stations which quite often are not fit for purpose and are rarely used by the public
Superintendent Clifford Best
PSNI district commander

"The PSNI claim that they conducted an extensive consultation exercise with local communities in Newtownbutler and Irvinestown will not wash with nationalists," she said.

"The majority of nationalists do not want these spy bases in their communities."

SDLP policing spokesperson Alex Attwood said the move was an example of the PSNI and Policing Board responding to community concerns.

"The adjusted figures reflect both the need for better policing on the ground and the need for stations where community requirements justify their presence," he said.

"This is the right balance. It provides stations where they are most needed and will provide more police officers on the ground in other locations."

District commander Superintendent Clifford Best said they would still recommend the closure of six other stations in the county to the Policing Board.

They are Ballinamallard, Derrygonnelly, Kinawley, Lisbellaw, Rosslea and Tempo.

Mobile station

Superintendent Best said he had to use the resources available to him in the "most effective and efficient way".

"I can understand that some people may take comfort in having a police station nearby," he said.

"However, I don't want to see police officers tied to stations which quite often are not fit for purpose and are rarely used by the public.

"I want to see them actively involved in front line policing and I believe that is what the community wants to see."

He said that public meetings had been held in all eight villages on the future of the stations and he had considered "all the views expressed".

He said that police hoped to buy a mobile police station for use across the county.

Police closure plans criticised
20 Jul 05 |  Northern Ireland
Board agrees to close nine bases
30 Jun 05 |  Northern Ireland
Police station plans 'premature'
25 Sep 04 |  Northern Ireland
Station closure decision criticised
19 Sep 03 |  Northern Ireland

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