New police office at heart of community

23/05/2011'Official opening of new Kilsyth police station'l-r chief super intendant graham cairns, chief constable stephen house, Clr danny carrigan obe, clr jean jones, jamie hepburn msp
23/05/2011'Official opening of new Kilsyth police station'l-r chief super intendant graham cairns, chief constable stephen house, Clr danny carrigan obe, clr jean jones, jamie hepburn msp

TWELVE years ago, the possibility of locating a new police station in Kilsyth Main Street was first considered.

That idea finally became a reality last week as the new town centre base was officially opened.

But it was back in 1999 when then town inspector Brian Connel had a conversation with Councillor Jean Jones about re-locating the office.

Both were on hand last Tuesday to see Councillor Danny Carrigan, also a member of the Strathclyde Police Authority, conduct the proceedings.

Brian Connel, now Acting Superintendent, said: “It feels good to see it happen now. The old office was just money down the drain constantly.

“Even purely from a staff point of view, it wasn’t a nice place to work and it wasn’t fit for purpose.”

He added: “At the moment, the new office will be open from 7am to 11pm but, if demand from the community says it needs to be different, that’s something we will need to look at.”

Stephen House, chief constable of Strathclyde Police, said: “This is great news. The old building was big, old and falling apart, and it wasn’t in the town centre.

“This is right slap bang in the middle and should help with the regeneration of the street.

“We’re hoping it will help us engage with the community more. It’s an investment in the community and we’re glad we were able to make it at a time when a lot of public services are under pressure.”

Councillor Danny Carrigan, who unveiled a plaque in the reception area of the new premises, said: “I think it’s great it’s in the Main Street and highly visible.

“It makes the police approachable and located at the heart of the community which is great for Kilsyth.”

Kilsyth councillor Jean Jones said: “I welcome this move as it makes the police more accessible to the public.

“There’s often been issues in the Main Street with youths hanging about and causing trouble, the Co-op right across the street has had windows smashed quite a few times. I’m sure the police being here will make a big difference.”

Cumbernauld and Kilsyth MSP Jamie Hepburn said: “I think it makes a lot of sense having the police here.

“The more visible and more accessible the police are, the better.”