Plans for new police station in Cookstown welcomed

Cookstown Police Station.mm31-136ar.
Cookstown Police Station.mm31-136ar.

Plans to replace the police station at Cookstown with a new building were warmly welcomed this week by local politicians.

The Policing Board approved the move - which is subject to available funding - as part of a major shake-up and restructuring in the force’s estate.

A review of the policing estate was carried out last year with the aim of making in fit for purpose over the next 35-50 years.

Mid Ulster Council Chair, Councillor Trevor Wilson said it was good news that the station at Molesworth Street was to be replaced.

“I’ve no doubt the new facilities and accommodation will be welcomed by members of the policing personnel,” he said.

However, the Ulster Unionist Party member stressed it was important that the proposed new station should be fully utilised and accessible to the general public at all times.

Local DUP MLA Keith Buchanan also welcomed the news.

Mr Buchanan, who sits on the Policing Board, said the new build would ensure the PSNI had the proper and right facilities on the ground, and will ensure that law and order is upheld in the area.

The police station in Maghera is not so lucky and was identified as one of 12 which will be disposed of following the review.

Assistant Chief Constable Stephen Martin said times had changed, and due to advancements in modern technology as well as continuing budgetary restraints, the Police Service continued to look at new ways of providing the most effective service to the public in the most cost efficient way.

“Communities are increasingly interacting with police in different ways,” he said.

“The digital age means we are able to offer the public instant access to information and services through the PSNI website. It also provides local information specific to each of our 11 Policing Districts.

“The reality is that nearly all policing services are delivered outside of stations. Policing isn’t about buildings, it is about officers working with the community in order to protect them, prevent crime and detect criminals.”