Six police stations in Cardiff will close their front desks to the public from Monday.
Police informed councillors and other “stakeholders” about the changes today – just three days before they are due to take effect.
The stations set to close to the public include Ely, Llanishen, Llanedeyrn, Roath, Cathays and St Mellons.
Cardiff Bay will be the only station open 24/7, while Cardiff Central will open from 8am until midnight Sunday to Thursday and until 4am on Fridays and Saturdays.
The front desk at Fairwater police station will remain open until 10pm and Rumney police station until 8pm.
South Wales Police insisted the proposals would not lead to a reduction in the number of response or neighbourhood officers covering the areas of Cardiff in which the front desks are closing, and said staff affected by the changes had all found jobs elsewhere in the force.
Plans to close police stations to the public across South Wales were first proposed as part of a consultation document in February this year, with Fairwater and Rumney stations originally set to be part of the closures.
Under the plans, only eight stations would have retained a staffed counter for either 24 or 18 hours a day, including Bridgend, Barry, Cardiff Bay, Cardiff Central, Merthyr Tydfil, Pontypridd, Neath and Swansea Central.
A spokesman for the force said visitors to some of the stations were “minimal” and that paying staff to work on front desks was not “value for money”.
They added: “Times are changing and so are communities and the way we police them.
“Fewer people now pop into a police station to speak to an officer in person. The telephone, especially mobile phone, the internet and email, are becoming increasingly important ways to get in touch. We need to adapt accordingly.
“Decisions to change the use of any police estate are always made with great care to ensure that policing is never adversely affected.
“This takes place against a background that has seen crime in Cardiff drop by 2.9% compared to last year. That represents 970 fewer victims of crime. In the same period violent crime has fallen by 9.8%, theft of motor vehicles by 9.6%, criminal damage by 14.9%.
“Despite being among the busiest in England and Wales and with the challenges of policing the capital city South Wales Police officers working in Cardiff – with the support of partner agencies – strive to keep Cardiff safe.
“This has been achieved though close working links with partners and the communities we serve.”
“People can still make appointments to meet with officers at the above stations and four stations will still have public access.”
But Cathays councillors Chris Weaver, Sam Knight, and Sarah Merry said this afternoon they were dismayed by the closures, with residents in their ward no longer able to access any face-to-face service at the station on Crwys Road.
Coun Merry said “These closures are a consequence of the short-sighted cuts to the police by the UK Government. Police forces across Wales have already admitted they will have to cut front-line officers and hundreds of staff because the cuts are too deep. Now Cathays residents are losing out again.”
For contact details of Neighbourhood Policing teams and Pact meeting dates, visit www.ourbobby.com