POLICE officers responsible for keeping Milford Haven safe will no longer be based at the town's station overnight.

Following force-wide changes that came in this month, officers will now start their shifts in Haverfordwest after 1am, Sunday to Thursday, and 3am on Friday and Saturday.

Speaking to the Mercury, Superintendent Ian John guaranteed the changes would not affect Milford Haven's level of coverage.

He said staff were still assigned to cover the town during the early hours, they would now just be starting their shifts in Haverfordwest.

Supt John said the re-think of how resources were deployed was prompted by a close look at when demand was highest.

He said the results showed that this was between 9am and 1am on weekdays, and between 7am and 3am on weekends.

"We've done it simply because we've seen what our demand is," he said, adding that the public would now see more officers on the street when they were needed.

"It's early days yet, but so far we feel we're providing the best service we can with the officers we've got."

He said the move would not save the force any money on its own, but would mean it police were working as efficiently as they could.

He said there were no plans to close Milford Haven station, and that a programme of improvement for the building was being looked at.

Responding to the news, town and county councillor Rhys Sinnett said he was disappointed at the "lack of consultation" on what was a "significant change that could have an impact on public safety".

"To have us sprung this on us is not acceptable," he said.

"I find it hard to swallow that a town the size of Milford Haven doesn’t deserve 24/7 coverage with officers based at our local station."

Cllr Sinnett said he would now be approaching the town council, and asking Dyfed-Powys Police to meet with them to explain the basis for this decision.

"If they feel they have a strong case why have they not shown the data to the public instead of making the decision behind closed doors?" he said.

Milford Mercury:

A joint press release from Dyfed-Powys Police and Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn said: "Dyfed-Powys Police has been undertaking work to improve the way we respond in order to put the public first as part of the wider Police and Crime Plan.

"Officers are being encouraged to be out of the stations and actively patrolling their areas, and as an example of gaining a better understanding of our demands, we have recently adjusted shift patterns to better reflect the peaks in demand we experience throughout the week on a 24/7 basis.

"They are equipped with hand held devices that are essentially mobile police stations.

"They give officers mobile access to a number of force systems and processes, enabling them to deal with incidents, record crimes and so much more while out on patrol.

"A 24-hour policing presence will be maintained in all areas of the force and members of the public will not experience any change in the current level of police service they receive.

"A number of police stations will have improvement works carried out to ensure that the facilities are fit for operational use in the future.

"No changes to the current front desk opening hours at police stations or the number of police officers are being made at this time."