People in communities across Northern Ireland are now accessing public services in different ways.
Advances in technology have made it possible for the Police Service of Northern Ireland to deliver new ways of reporting crime, filling out official forms and engaging with officers.
Members of the public can now access police services in a number of different ways. Information about policing in your local area, advice, crime prevention and the opportunity to report general crime is available on the PSNI website – www.psni.police.uk. PSNI has invested in online applications for firearms licences and online vetting through Access NI. The public can find out about local policing and engage with local officers on our social media sites and can always contact police by phoning 101, or 999 in an emergency.
This evolving digital footprint means that people no longer need to visit police station enquiry offices as often.
In light of this, and with consideration to best and most cost effective use of police resources, the number of Station Enquiry Offices across Northern Ireland will reduce from 36 to 30 from 3 April, 2017, and new opening hours will be implemented in the majority of the remaining enquiry offices.
Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd said: “People are choosing to contact us in a different way and we want to deliver what they want, in the way they have chosen while maintaining our frontline service.
“Since the launch of our new website in February 2016 (up to 8 February 2017) more than 445,000 people have visited the site, with more than 1.5 million page views. More than 17,000 people have visited our online crime reporting page. Our social media following grew by 211,305 followers in 2016 and we regularly reach more than 2 million people per week with our social media posts.
“Digital access is what the public have chosen and, in this environment of changing public need and police resources, this is how we are designing for the future and providing best value for public money.
“Enquiry offices were conceived before the digital age however we appreciate that there are some services that require face to face interaction. When considering the changes to station enquiry opening hours we looked at demand and peak use to ensure the impact on the public is kept to a minimum.”
From 3 April, 2017, enquiry offices at stations in Antrim Road (Belfast), Ballycastle, Ballymoney, Carrickfergus, Portadown and Newcastle will no longer be open to the public for routine business.
New opening hours for enquiry offices across Northern Ireland, with the exception of Musgrave Station, will also be implemented on this date.
Station enquiry offices will be open from 11am to 7pm, Monday to Friday. Strand Road enquiry office in Derry/Londonderry will be open from 9am to 9pm, Monday to Friday and 12 noon to 8pm on Saturday and Sunday. Musgrave enquiry office in Belfast will remain open 24/7.
All enquiry offices, with the exception of Musgrave, will close between 3pm and 3.30pm for lunch.
Services available at station enquiry offices include administrative activities such as producing driving documents, paying warrant fines, Foreign Students registration or signing bail.