Police chiefs have been accused of treating the public with “contempt” over station closures, after Cardiff councillors were told in a letter that Canton Police Station will be closing to the public from next week.
The police station, on Cowbridge Road East, was put on the market last year for £400,000 and has since been sold, although the sale has yet to be completed.
In a letter sent to councillors this week, Chief Inspector Jim Hall, head of policing in Cardiff west, said the force was still looking at various options for a new site, including sharing facilities with Cardiff council at Canton Library.
In the meantime, he said, the police station’s front desk will close from Monday, August 6.
Labour councillor Ramesh Patel said the sudden announcement sent out the “wrong message” to the community.
He said: “This was not the agreement.
“We understood the police station was up for sale. We understood that but we always thought we would keep some sort of satellite station open in a shop front or something like that.
“That may still be the case but the sudden announcement doesn’t give us any confidence.
“We need an active station open for at least a few hours a day in the community where people can go in and speak to the police.”
Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator for Riverside, Terry Phillips, said: “We are very concerned because we don’t have a contact point now. If anyone wants to go in and speak to a police officer they will have to travel all the way to Fairwater or Central.
“This problem has been compounded by the issues many people are having with the 101 number, on which there are still delays.
“There is no excuse for South Wales Police to be doing what it is doing and I think there is going to be uproar about this.
“We pay a lot of money to the police through our taxes and they are treating us with contempt – we are always the last to know.”
In his letter, CI Hall said: “As we encourage our officers to spend time out of the station on patrol, being visible to the community and attending incidents, from this date the front doors will no longer be open to members of the public.
“Decisions to change the use of any police estate are always made with great care to ensure that policing is never adversely affected.”
It is understood affected staff will be relocated to other stations in the city.