Swansea Valley mobile police station 'unsuitable for disabled access'
DISABLED people are finding it difficult to access a new mobile police station in the Upper Swansea Valley, it has been claimed
As part of money-saving measures Dyfed-Powys Police has closed the front counter of its main station in Ystradgynlais and replaced it with a mobile service.
The portable police station now visits the town's Miners Welfare Hall on Brecon Road each Tuesday and Thursday.
However, the question of disabled access to the new station has been raised.
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Town clerk Brian Rees, who has written to Dyfed-Powys Police to express the town council's concerns, said: "Concern was expressed by members over the fact that the mobile station was inaccessible to many disabled people, a fact that had been reported to the inspector of police for the area."
Town councillors have also questioned whether or not the mobile police station could visit other areas.
Mr Rees said: "Also there is a need for this service to be provided at outlaying areas such as Cwmtwrch and Abercrave."
John Combes, of the Ystradgynlais and District Access Group, said: "As a group we are disappointed that there is no way that a disabled or partially disable person be able to get into the van."
Mr Combes added: "When I went there the step that would help partially disabled people enter was broken.
"Disabled people need to get inside they can't talk about their problems outside."
Mr Combes also asked the question: "Why can't they use the money spent on the mobile station to have someone man the main front counter two days a week?" A spokeswoman for Dyfed Powys Police did not respond to a request for a comment before the time of going to press.
However, Dyfed-Powys Police chief constable Jackie Roberts has spoken about the wider issue of closing the town's front counter and introducing the mobile station.
He said: "We are making these changes to try to improve our services to the public while also delivering £13.5 million worth of cost reductions across all our services. However, I would reassure people the changes we have made are designed to maintain and improve our service offering, while protecting front line resources and staff as far as possible.
"During times of austerity it is even more important that the public, police and partner agencies support and work together to tackle crime and antisocial behaviour to keep communities safe."