Politicians and community members have united to condemn a decision to the public counter at Cardenden police station.
The station - along with Burntisland - is among 61 in Scotland that will see their ‘drop in’ service end from March 3 .
Lindsay MacKenzie (53), who works in Cardenden, said: “The Royal Bank closed this time last year and that really affected local people. With this, people - especially the elderly- will feel less secure.”
Lisa Thomson (36), resident and owner of Andrew Kirk butchers, added: “Most of the problems we have here are to do with teenage gangs congregating and fighting near the shops.
I think we need the police more than we ever have done before.
“Cardenden has almost doubled in size and there should be more investment here, not less”
People will still be able to attend the police station, but must call 101 first to ensure a police officer will be there.
Local MP Lindsay Roy said that loss of readily available face-to-face contact was a retrograde step which could force people to travel to Glenrothes, Kirkcaldy or Cowdenbeath.
“Police Scotland say the changes to public counter provision will save £4.2 million next year, but at what cost to the public?
“It certainly won’t mean more bobbies on the beat.”
Cardenden councillor Mark Hood added: “The community has concerns about crime and the increase in crime in the area and therefore it is important to reassure people that there is a proper police presence.
“Removing the public counter provision will be detrimental to that and will have a huge impact on people’s perception of the visibility of the police.”
Alex Burns, chairman of Cardenden Community Council, said the local community was “devastated” by the decision.
“It goes entirely against our wishes – local contact is vitally important and this unwelcome change could undermine the confidence that the community has in the police service.”
Viewpoint from Police Scotland
Assistant Chief Constable Wayne Mawson maintained local policing remained the bedrock of the new service.
“A review of Public Counters has contributed to this with Police Scotland committed to maximising police officers on the street and in communities working to keep people safe and provide high standards of service the public expects.”