Police Scotland’s proposals to close a working police station to save cash have been branded a “total cop out”.
The force is currently seeking permission from the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) to begin a three-month public engagement over the future of 53 “disused” police properties which it claims are no longer required.
Three of those properties are in the Falkirk area and while Bainsford station is empty and has not been used since 2016 and Bo’ness, which has been empty since 2014, is only used occasionally, Camelon is still staffed by a quartet of community officers and is a vital asset to the village according to Councillor Dennis Goldie.
He said: “It’s a total cop out, that’s what we’ve got here. I’ve lived in Camelon all my life and there’s always been a police station here. It would be wonderful if we could do without a police station in Camelon, but there are real serious problems here so we require a police station.
“Our local officers know if there is a problem and they know where to find it. This is just about saving money and follows on from the shambles of creating a single police force in Scotland.
“How can you provide local community policing when you take the police out of the local community?”
According to Police Scotland, the Camelon Main Street community station is used by four officers who occasionally deploy from the premises, but they also deploy from Falkirk Police HQ 1.4 miles away.
They believe these resources could be permanently relocated to Falkirk and service delivery could still be maintained for Camelon.
All of the properties on the disposal list have been identified by local police commanders as surplus to requirements and, according to Police Scotland, almost all of them no longer perform an active policing purpose.
Assistant chief constable Andy Cowie, strategic lead for estates change, said: “Police Scotland inherited a large estate which was based on legacy arrangements. This estate was developed over a significant period of time when demands on policing were very different from current and anticipated future demands.
“As Policing 2026 has demonstrated, the demands facing policing and the public expectation of policing in Scotland has evolved over time and will continue to evolve, however, the estate, which is crucial to the delivery of policing services, has not evolved and has largely remained as is.
“The review of the Police Scotland estate was conducted to ensure it is fit for purpose and reflects the changing nature of policing and can support service delivery to local communities.
“There are a large number of properties currently empty, or soon to become empty, however, they still have associated running costs. Such a position does not provide best value or help achieve financial sustainability.
“In order to ensure we develop policing models that support the needs of each community, we intend to carry out extensive discussion and engagement with our staff, local communities and partners.
“While we have identified a number of properties across Scotland we consider no longer required to provide policing services and we are recommending that these properties be disposed of, no decision will be made on the future of any of our police stations until we have carried out this engagement process.
“Indeed, the final list of properties being considered for disposal may be amended as new needs or opportunities are discovered or offered during the engagement process. This engagement will also allow us to further raise awareness of the Community Empowerment Act and may provide opportunities for viable community groups.”