PUBLIC opening hours at Cowdenbeath police station could be reduced with no weekend cover as part of efforts to cut costs.

Police Scotland have confirmed that they are "assessing whether public counter opening times in Fife should be amended" after a source told the Times that there were discussions currently ongoing in the force.

It's believed that opening hours could be slashed at Cowdenbeath from 7am-midnight seven days a week to just 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday.

Elsewhere, Dunfermline police station is rumoured to change from its current 24-hour position, to the new time of between 8am and Midnight daily, and there could be cuts to Dalgety Bay, but Police Scotland have stressed that there are "no plans to close any police stations".

A public consultation will take place if these proposals are brought forward.

Responding to the news, Councillor Alex Campbell told the Times: "It's just cuts, cuts, cuts.

"It's extremely disappointing to hear that Cowdenbeath police station could be open to the public for even less hours with no weekend cover.

"I am considering writing to the Scottish Government to ask what their solutions are to this.

"It's not acceptable that Police Scotland has been cut to these levels.

"I'm most concerned about no public hours at the weekend when you have the football and stock cars on."

The latest figures published in August show that more than 260,000 calls made to the national police 101 non-emergency number in the first six months of this year did not reach an operator.

The figure equates to 1,451 calls every day across Scotland that ended before the caller was able to speak to anyone.

Cllr Darren Watt added: "It's so disappointing to hear as a lot of people still like face-to-face contact with police officers.

"It's hard enough to contact the police as it is on 101 and especially with a reduction of police officers at events such as COP26.

"It will be deeply disappointing for the community as it means the service is even more inaccessible than it currently is already.

"A lot of the time the police don't seem to be aware of an incident but when the community cannot get through to them, is it any wonder that people don't report?

"Some matters such as speeding might be trivial to the police but they are not to the community that is affected by them.

"We keep hearing about community engagement, but if the police are not accessible, then it's not acceptable and frankly quite worrying."

Chief Inspector Joanne McEwan said: “We are committed to providing a visible neighbourhood policing presence which meets the needs of the communities we serve.

“Use of our public counters has changed in recent times with more people choosing to contact us on the phone or online rather than visiting us in person.

“In order to ensure we are being as efficient and cost-effective as possible, we are currently assessing whether public counter opening times in Fife should be amended.

“Any change to public counter opening hours will be subject to detailed consultation and engagement with the relevant communities and stakeholders and will require the approval of the Scottish Police Authority.

“There are no plans to close any police stations.

“Public counters are staffed by members of police staff and do not reflect the number or availability of police officers.

“In the event a public counter is closed, members of the public can still contact us on 101, via our website, or by use of the intercom in place at every police station. In the event of an emergency, always dial 999.”