The Chief Constable of Gwent Police is to meet the public face-to-face to explain her decision to close police stations across the force area.
In Caerphilly County Borough, stations in Caerphilly, Bargoed, Rhymney, Ystrad Mynach, Bedwas and Risca are set to close to the public.
Chief Constable Carmel Napier will be at Tesco, in Pontymister, Risca, on Wednesday morning between 9.30am and 10.30am, and again at Morrisons, Caerphilly, between 12.30pm and 1.30pm to explain her decision to close them.
Ms Napier said: “Like every other police force in England and Wales, Gwent has to make a 20% cut in spending. To keep officers on the streets, cuts are being made in support staff, and a total of 58 money saving schemes are currently underway.
“It is important to stress that we are not closing Police Stations and that the number of police officers and community support officers operating from existing locations will remain the same.
“Those neighbourhood officers will continue to build on the range of existing engagement activity which includes police surgeries, PACT meetings, visits to community groups and taking our Mobile Police Stations out into the community to ensure we remain accessible to the public.”
The closing stations will remain as bases for police officers but will be closed to visitors wishing to report crimes in person. The changes will see the loss of 19 front desk jobs across the force.
Gwent Police has said the changes will save it £500,000. Due to budget cuts from the UK Government, the force has to find savings of £34 million by 2015.
Blackwood is the only station in Caerphilly County Borough that will still have a public front desk and will continue to be open from 8am to 8pm seven days a week. Only Newport Central will have 24-hour public access across the force area.
The Chief Constable going out to meet the public is part of the force’s consultation on the closures, which ends on Friday June 1.
The force has said it has received more than 1,000 responses to a survey online and at public consultation events.
This week, officers will be at:
- Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr on Tuesday May 29 between 10 am and 4pm
- Tesco, Pontymister, Risca, Wednesday May 30, from 9am to 4pm
- Morrison’s Caerphilly, Thursday May 31, from 12pm to 7pm
- Tesco Extra, Trethomas, Friday June 1, between 10am and 5pm
Earlier this month, Caerphilly MP Wayne David presented a petition to Ms Napier with 1,000 names against the police station closures.