Blow to rural policing with closure of Fermanagh office

THE PSNI has confirmed no officers will be lost in the Lisnaskea area when the enquiry office at the town’s police station closes.

The planned closure of the office, which will leave just one police enquiry office in Enniskillen serving the whole county, is being shut as part of a cost-cutting exercise by the force.

On Monday this week the PSNI announced 11 police station enquiry offices were to be closed across the North due to budget pressures. The list included the Lisnaskea office, which is currently operating on Monday-Friday from 11am-7pm.


“Last month the Chief Constable informed the Northern Ireland Policing Board that as a consequence of the current financial and resource pressures facing the Police Service, the decision has been taken to reduce the number of Station Enquiry Offices from 28 to 17,” said Assistant Chief Constable for Local Police, Bobby Singleton.

“This decision follows an extensive review which included analysis of the volume and type of demand in enquiry offices. This review concluded that against the backdrop of wider resource challenges, the current service is neither sustainable nor effective.”

He added the PSNI was trying to stay clear and transparent about the pressures it was facing, and “the type of service” the public could expect to see in the coming years.

“This is not a decision we have taken lightly and we are conscious there may be an actual or perceived loss of accessibility, visibility and ability to respond to the needs of the community,” said ACC Singleton.

“However, the PSNI is facing unprecedented financial pressure and savings are necessary to deliver a sustainable and effective organisation.

“The Chief Constable has been clear for some time that difficult decisions are going to have to be taken. The Police Service is shrinking and as a result, the level of service the public can expect to see is going to change.”

ACC Singleton stressed it was only the enquiry offices, not the stations, that were closing, and said officers and staff would continue to serve communities from the stations.


Fermanagh MLA Tom Elliott said the closure of the office showed the “sorry state” the police service was in with its finances, stating it was “clearly a cost cutting measure.”

“Lisnaskea is in a very strategic area, given the distance from the south and east borderlands of Fermanagh to the only other enquiry station, Enniskillen,” he said, adding the loss of the office would result in a loss of accessibility to many people in a rural area.

“I have raised the matter with the party’s member on the Policing Board and I will be making my views known to the PSNI District Commanders to express my disappointment at this decision and to seek answers on the rational,” said Mr Elliott.

“Policing is currently significantly under strength from what the Patten recommendations were, this decision is a further blow to public confidence in the service, and indeed a negative aspect to serving police officers.”

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