Confirmed: Penarth police station's front desk service to close
PENARTH police station will close to members of the public on a walk-in basis before the end of the year, South Wales Police has confirmed.
Front desk services are set to cease at the Windsor Road site - but the station will not close completely.
Officers will still be based and work from there, and members of the public will still be able to meet with officers - but only by appointment.
The decision follows the end of a consultation on the centralisation of front counter services to eight ‘key’ stations across the region.
Barry is one of the eight stations offering a police point-of-contact for face-to-face enquiries. It will offer a 16-hour walk-in-service to the public, open from 8am to midnight, staffed by a station enquiry clerk.
The Cardiff Bay station will remain open 24 hours a day.
Thirteen other stations across South Wales will be closing their front counter services.
The plans, part of an Accessibility Strategy, have been approved by the South Wales Police Authority.
Assistant Chief Constable Julian Kirby said the way the police and the public interact had changed, and that fewer people were using police station enquiry desks.
“In today's world, more and more people have a requirement to make contact with the police not face to face, but by telephone, e-mail and even traditional written correspondence,” he said.
"A fundamental part of the service provided by South Wales Police is that ‘we come to you’. “With 85 per cent of contact with South Wales Police being made by telephone, we have created a state-of-the-art public service centre for the Force which deals with all calls, emergency and non-emergency. Through this centre we will task officers to crimes and incidents and calls for assistance.
“In an ideal world we will be able to deal with the caller's issue then and there. If we are not able to do so, we can use the very latest technology to put the caller in touch with the most appropriate and available officer.
"In a recent review the force identified a number of police stations which by due to their location are best placed to provide a facility to 'drop in' to a police station to report a matter,” he added.
“Unlike many forces in Wales and England, we have decided that two of these stations, Cardiff Bay and Swansea Central, will be open 24 hours a day. Others will be open 16 hours a day and, crucially, these times will be guaranteed.”
Phones will be available outside every police station, he confirmed.
“Naturally the officers who continue to work from dozens of police stations across South Wales will continue to meet and welcome members of the public into their police stations as circumstances allow,” he added "By continuing to adapt we will make sure we have a modern service fit for a modern South Wales."
A police spokesperson said the date for the front desk closure in Penarth had yet to be finalised, but an end-of-November date has been reported.