Campaigners have launched an online petition calling on the PSNI to make Banbridge Police Station “fully operational again”.
The petition - ‘Residents demand that Banbridge PSNI station needs to be fully operational again’ - was started by Armagh, Banbridge, Craigavon Bin Action Group (ABC BAG) on the change.org website on September 5.
The move comes following a spate of serious crimes in the town in recent weeks and calls from political representatives for more police resources to be directed towards the area. • Read full story here.
The petition page states: “It is becoming very clear that with the increase in burglaries, drug dealing and general crime Banbridge town NEEDS a fully operational police station, a station where there is a quick response team who can react to any immediate need, a station who can monitor our towns cctv and react accordingly to a given situation, a station where residents of our town can call for support in times of need, a station where ‘policemen and women on the beat’ are based and controlled locally and whose visibility in the community will deter crime and possibly catch criminals in the act. The current situation where cover is provided by Lurgan is unacceptable as it involves a 20 minute car journey for the officers to attend an incident.”
Within 48 hours of going live, more than 900 people had signed the petition, with many leaving comments explaining their reasons for supporting the campaign.
The site states that the petition will be delivered to the PSNI and the Northern Ireland Office.
Due to budget cuts, the opening hours at Banbridge Police Station have been reduced in recent years. Reorganisation of the service has seen Banbridge-based Neighbourhood Teams replaced with Local Policing Teams based in Lurgan and Armagh.
The PSNI has given an assurance to local residents that “police are available to them 24/7 and continue to patrol and provide a first class policing presence in their area.”
The petition can be accessed via the change.org website or by clicking here.