Page last updated at 10:01 GMT, Thursday, 10 September 2009 11:01 UK

Police recommend station closures

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Hillsborough police station could close by Christmas if plans are approved

Hillsborough police station could be one of three stations to be shut under new proposals put forward by the PSNI.

The announcement came during a District Policing Partnership meeting this week.

District Commander Chief Superintendent Henry Irvine outlined his proposals to close Hillsborough, Randalstown and Ballyclare police stations.

The move is intended to free up resources for frontline policing but the decision will have to be endorsed by the Policing Board.

These latest proposals are in addition to the 26 police stations which the Policing Board agreed to sell off just last month.

In a statement the PSNI said: "Hillsborough station has had very limited opening hours in the recent past while Randalstown has been closed to the public for quite some time.

"Ballyclare station has been attended by an average of fewer than six callers a day."

'Outdated and underused'

The statement added that the PSNI believed it could better serve the district "by investing in developing relationships and solving problems rather than continuing to tie up resources, money and people in outdated and underused police stations designed for a very different political and social era".

However, Lagan Valley MLA Jonathan Craig said he was "absolutely appalled" by the proposals.

The former DPP member told BBC Radio Ulster's Good Morning Ulster that just a few years ago, Hillsborough police station was allocated as training centre for new police recruits.

He said "A lot of public money was spent on that police station doing it up for that purpose and that was supposed to ensure that future of that station."

Mr Craig also said he has been told there are plans to close Lisburn police station to the public overnight.

He said that under the proposals, the city's station would be shut between the hours of 2300 and 0700, even on weekends.

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