SINN Féin MP Paul Maskey has called for the defortification of West Belfast's police stations. 

It comes following a report, published as part of review of policing in South Armagh, recommended the closure of the heavily-fortified PSNI barracks in Crossmaglen. 

Mr Maskey said the report should prompt a conversation around local barracks at Woodbourne and the Springfield Road. 

The imposing Woodbourne Police Station, known locally as Woodbourne Barracks, is the centre of the PSNI's operations in West Belfast. The station serves the Greater Andersonstown, Colin, Beechmount, Falls, Upper-Springfield and Dunmurry areas.

Springfield Road Barracks closed to the public in 2002 following policing reforms which saw the RUC renamed the PSNI. However, unlike the Andersonstown Barracks – which was closed in 2005 and eventually demolished – the heavily-fortified Springfield Road barracks remains as a stark reminder of our turbulent past. 

Mr Maskey said the existing barracks "don't represent modern day society."

"We have called for the modernisation of facilities and how policing operations should go ahead in the future," he said.

"If you look at the review carried out in Crossmaglen it highlights some of the important issues. We have to move forward and we have to move policing forward. 

EYESORE: Springfield Road Barracks

EYESORE: Springfield Road Barracks

"You need to have modern suitable police stations. You don't need heavily fortified barracks anymore – those days are gone."

The Sinn Féin rep said the "eyesore" barracks were inconsistent with attempts to modernise West Belfast. 

"If you look at the main arterial route, work has been done to facilitate the Glider, with new footpaths and road layouts. 

"You've got new buildings going up, you've got the new Andersonstown Leisure Centre, the new Brook Leisure Centre, and hopefully it will not be too long until we see work starting on the new Casement Park.

"You see the Áras Uí Chonghaile, you see Coláiste Feirste, you see the work ongoing in St Colmgall's school. You don't want all that modernisation happening with a few eyesores in the middle of it with these militarised fortified police barracks."

He described the now defunct Springfield Road barracks as a "terrible blight" on the area.

"That piece of land could be used for redevelopment, for employment opportunities, for housing opportunities, or whatever the case might be," he added.

"It's a big piece of land and it should be brought into modern day use."