New Sumburgh Airport station will enhance security, say police
The new police office at Sumburgh airport was officially opened on Wednesday afternoon by the new chief constable of Northern Constabulary, George Graham.
Among those present were newly appointed divisional superintendent John Chisholm, who is based in Wick, and area commander for Shetland, chief inspector David Bushell.
The station features a help desk with a visible display of information, a back office and a room where people can be interviewed without the need to travel to the station in Lerwick.
It replaces the recently closed station at Dunrossness, which shut its doors at the end of March along with the station at Scalloway as part of police cutbacks.
The station will be manned by officer PC Stuart Millar, who will remain on a shift pattern and carry out all the duties previously performed at Dunrossness.
Before declaring the station open, Mr Graham said: “I am delighted to open this new police office at Sumburgh Airport. I hope it shows our commitment in Northern Constabulary to enhanced and visible policing in rural communities.
“We are continually looking at how we can improve our services by working closely in partnership with other agencies to find innovative ways of delivering a high quality service and providing the best possible value for money in public services.”
Chief inspector David Bushell said having a police presence at the airport would help to re-assure both visitors and locals moving through the airport, as well as acting as a deterrent to folk thinking about smuggling drugs through the airport.
Mr Bushell said: “PC Stuart Millar, who is the southern isles officer, will patrol from the airport office. The new office will also be used by other officers deployed to the airport or officers passing through the airport.
“This will give us an excellent opportunity to enhance security and safety at the airport and provide re-assurance to those travelling through or working at the airport. The office however is not just for use by people at the airport, but residents in the Dunrossness area will be able to meet with PC Millar at the office if needed.
“We have seen a large quantity of drugs come into Shetland through the airport and this facility will enable us to operate even more effectively in tackling this.”
Shetland south councillor Allison Duncan welcomed the delegation of police to the isles and said: “In these times of financial restraint it’s difficult for the police just like other public bodies but I think the moving the station from Dunrossness to Wilsness terminal is a constructive move and one that is accepted by the community.
“The presence of the police here will hopefully be a deterrent to those bringing drugs into the isle and will be a positive move for Shetland.”