POLICE STATION COULD BE SET UP IN SCHOOL

A POLICE station could soon be opened in Strathblane Primary.

Stirling Council and the Central Scotland force are considering moving Blanefield Police Office to the school to cut costs.

The officer would be based in the former janitor’s room and access would be through a dedicated door, away from staff and pupils. A ‘help point’ intercom would also be fitted somewhere on the school premises.

In a letter to parents, head teacher Sandra Logan said the police office would only take up a “small amount of space” that was not currently being used.

The letter continued: “The police ‘presence’ will allow direct access from outside via a door that is away from that used by staff and pupils to ensure a level of separation.”

Chief Inspector Kevin Findlater, from Central Scotland Police, said that the community officer, PC David McNally, would not take arrested suspects to the school.

He said: “We no longer take arrested persons to small police stations. We take them to Stirling.

“They can’t even go to Balfron. Legally, we don’t have the facilities to deal with them. This is especially so for Blanefield - and has been for a long time.”

The officer told a public meeting in the village that Blanefield Police Office was in poor condition and not fit for purpose.

A spokeswoman for Stirling Council said: “The school would just be a touch-down area for the policeman to log on to his computer and make a cup of tea.”

The proposal is part of the Forth Valley Property Asset Strategy, which aims to save public bodies money by finding ways they can share facilities.

Stirling Council said Buchlyvie School already allowed Forth Valley Health Board to use some of its space under the initiative - but this would be the first primary school to host a police station.

Parents are going to be consulted, but the school’s head teacher said she hoped the office could open as early as April if the community was supportive.

Ms Logan said: “Whilst financial savings are an important driver in this it is important that it is not seen as the sole reason.

“Having officers associated with schools has been positively received in other communities and the location is nearer to the heart of public services so, I would hope, more available for members of the community.”