Dumbarton and the Vale’s MSP has voiced her fears over police plans to close Dumbarton station as part of cost-cutting proposals.

Jackie Baillie voiced her concerns for the community after Police Scotland launched a consultation to close 29 buildings used by the force they have deemed as “underused” and “surplus to requirements".

The police building at Alexandria has also made the list although already being permanently closed but the MSP queried the impact on locals if the area HQ at Garshake was to be moved to a town centre location - as hinted in the plans - despite having an operational public counter.

Ms Baillie said: “The public will rightly be concerned over the measures Police Scotland have been forced to take to balance the books.

“News that the organisation is aware that any further cuts will impact on the public and that the force will struggle to attend incidents and combat serious crime is unwelcome and will give residents the impression that they are being left to the mercy of criminals.

“The Scottish Government has presided over a decline in education standards, a decline in healthcare and treatment, failed to come up with a viable plan for the future of the court system and is now ignoring warnings from Police chiefs.

“Scotland’s public services cannot be allowed to falter any further under SNP control.

“For years the SNP has allowed our police force to become under-resourced, understaffed, and overworked – and it is our communities who pay the price.”

Properties have been selected for potential disposal under the service’s estate strategy, which seeks to move toward co-location with partners where possible to ensure services are delivered most efficiently and effectively.

And Deputy Chief Constable Malcolm Graham defended the plans, explaining the force had moved into a modern way of policing.

He said: “Our estate needs to be fit for 21st century policing, putting service enhancement, visibility, and engagement at the heart of the communities we serve.

“These are core components of the legitimacy and consent on which policing in Scotland relies.

“Our presence in communities is not defined by buildings but by the officers and staff who work there, and we have already introduced technology that enables our officers to remain in local areas, reducing the need for them to return to police stations to deal with paperwork.

“The buildings in which our officers and staff work need to be safe, functional spaces, and they need to be sustainable and adaptable enough to meet changing public expectations and the changing nature of policing.”

He added: “Police Scotland inherited a very large and ageing estate, much of which was not fit for purpose, with high maintenance costs and environmental inefficiencies.

“The locations of many inherited buildings no longer meet the requirements of local communities and in some cases the organisation is currently maintaining multiple buildings in the same geographic area, less than five miles apart.

“Some of the buildings are just a few miles apart, others are used by only a handful of police officers or staff and have no public access, while many are rarely visited by a member of the public.

“For the majority of properties, the proposed moves will be an average of four miles from their current location.

“Local communities will therefore continue to receive the same high level of service from officers, and still from within their local area.

Police Scotland says the financial savings with this move will be re-invested into providing policing services.