Police counter cuts ‘give criminals green light’

Muhammed Hameed's shop has been attacked three times in four years. Picture: Greg Macvean
Muhammed Hameed's shop has been attacked three times in four years. Picture: Greg Macvean
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A SHOPKEEPER who was stabbed while fending off a robber in his Corstorphine shop believes closing police station counters is like giving criminals the “green light”.

Muhammed Hameed, 40, said three attacks on the Premier Express in four years have left him terrified to leave his wife alone in the store.

The worst was in 2011 when he and a colleague were hurt during a scuffle that left both needing treatment for knife wounds.

The dad of twins said it had left him living in fear of another attack.

He said: “It has become difficult to walk in the same place when you have had that 
happen in the past.

“I am always thinking the next person through the door might have something in his hand, which makes it difficult.

“If I have to leave my wife working while I go to the cash and carry I worry about her.

“We must know that there is someone here at the station to protect us. I think a dedicated police officer needs to be in the area all the time.”

The Evening News has launched a campaign against plans by new single force chiefs to close ten police station counters to the public.

Corstorphine police station is currently open from 7am-midnight, seven days a week but would shut to the public and operations switched to the Drumbrae hub. Police Scotland say over an 11-day period it recorded 445 visits, which works out at around 14,685 per year.

But 12 per cent of visits were classed as “core demand” – a significantly higher percentage than for most stations – and that excludes reporting crimes or accidents.

Hairdresser Adele Dodd, right, 39, said she had called police to her house on Gylemuir Road 20 times over the past two years.

She said it was a hotspot for theft, housebreakings and 
vandalism, and she was a regular visitor to the station.

“I’m appalled they’re moving it and I think my neighbours will be too. They should go by crime in the area and this area is 
particularly bad.

“When they’re sending letters to businesses here warning about break-ins it makes no sense to move the service at all.”

Politicians back bid to save police stations

Crime rising as police station counters closed

Ten police stations in Lothians to be axed

Frank Boyle cartoon: the effect of police station closures

How you can help

Back the campaign by displaying a poster and signing the petition, which is already available to sign at several locations including:

• The Mill at St Joseph’s, the cafe beside Balerno Parish Church;

• Balerno Garage Ltd, Deanpark Brae;

• Sideburns Barber Shop, Oxgangs Broadway, Oxgangs;

• Craigmillar Post Office, Niddrie Mains Road.

To receive a petition and poster e-mail kate.pickles@jpress.co.uk or call 0131-620 8733, or call into the offices at 108 Holyrood Road.

You can also download a poster by clicking here

Email the following to SoS@edinburghnews.com along with your name and address

“Dear Sir Stephen House,

I want my local police station to stay open to the public. Please think again.”