Wills wants 24-hour police station opening

A councillor has called for the town’s police station to be open to the public 24 hours a day.

Jonathan Wills has called on Lerwick Community Council to seek answers from senior management at Police Scotland, insisting the centralisation of police services has “gone too far.”

In a letter to community council clerk Marie Sandison, Dr Wills wrote that he had failed to get an adequate response, insisting he had been given “condescending” explanations of why the station was not manned full-time.

“I see nothing in the police report about my repeated requests for the police station in Lerwick to be staffed so that there is someone to answer the phone locally and to answer the doorbell 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” he wrote.

“All I get when I raise concerrns about this issue are repeated, condescending explanations of why the police can’t afford to do this and why, in the opinion of remote bureaucrats, the totally unsatisfactory arrangements now in place are somehow superior to the service provided for decades when the country was far poorer than it is now.

“I suggest the community council may wish to ask a senior manager from Police Scotland to attend one of our meetings and have it explained to him or her that the police station absolutely must be available as a refuge for the public in a crisis – for example, when someone is threatened with mugging, or worse, in one of the Lerwick lanes at two in the morning.”

Dr Wills said CCTV and increased police patrols were “welcome and necessary”, but added that was no substitute for a local police station where the door was open and the phone answered by someone who “knows the difference between Bressay and Birsay”.

“Centralisation has brought useful savings but it has gone too far,” he added.


Add Your Comment
  • Margaret Sinclair

    • November 7th, 2014 13:02

    Sir, I am in complete agreement with Dr Wills! Taking away our 24hour police station was one more step towards lunacy!! Since the call centre was moved South there has been three occasions when we needed to call the Police. The first time we got someone who had no idea of our geography & the other twice there was no reply at all???
    Put an unmanned police station together with the SIC’s daft plan to switch of some street lights in the dark time of the year & we have an open door for increased problems. Not only that but when we knew there were Police Officers available 24/7 there was a greater sense of security,which means a great deal to people who are vulnerable or who live alone. At the moment , if we needed to call for help,going by past history, there is no sense of assurance that we would get help. Hopefully it won’t be necessary but you never know!
    We are an Island.. therefore the need for a Police Station which is manned 24 hours every day is vital.
    It is not an exaggeration to say that having a 24 hour manned station where we can call at any time could mean the difference between life & death to someone.
    I am so glad that Dr Wills has spoken out on this issue & hopefully he will get the necessary support to bring a satisfactory solution.
    Yours sincerely
    Margaret Sinclair

  • John Wood

    • November 9th, 2014 15:04

    Dear Lord I find I agree Jonathan Wills history has been made its ridiculous for the police station to be closed especially when there is a huge influx of workers one just has to shake the head and wonder


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