Berwick-upon-Tweed MP Sir Alan Beith met Northumbria Police’s Chief Constable, Sue Sim, to discuss the future of local police stations.
Following publicity about the possible closure of stations at Amble and Wooler, Sir Alan said: “I was glad to be reassured by the Chief Constable that what the force is considering is alternatives to the present buildings, not a reduction in police cover or the removal of an operating base in either Amble or Wooler.
“If at least as good a service to Amble residents can be provided from more cost-effective premises, that make sense when money is tight. Wooler serves a very large rural area, so I was anxious to get the assurance the Chief Constable has given me that police officers will continue to operate from Wooler, with the possibility that their operating base might be in other premises.
“We must not go back to the days when criminals knew that they could raid premises in the rural areas because it would be at least half an hour before the police could get there - despite the pressures on the force, Sue Sim is clearly as determined as I am that there is no return to the inadequate levels of rural police numbers that we used to have.
“We also discussed the way Northumbria police are seeking to maintain front line services despite the need to make very large cost savings, and the amount of work the police do to help local communities over and above their primary crime-fighting role, dealing with anti-social behaviour, road safety and a wide range of community safety problems.
“I also welcome the increasing co-operation between police and other local agencies in steering young people away from crime. There have been reductions in most types of crime over the last few years, but new patterns of crime are emerging and the role of our police force is vital.”