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.