Havering police station announcement “is like lottery win”
PUBLISHED: 10:36 25 March 2013 | UPDATED: 12:07 26 March 2013
A campaigner against police station closure said it feels like “a lottery win” after it was announced that crime will still be able to be reported in person in Hornchurch.
The town, as well as Rainham and Upminster will still have “contact points” in Havering where the public can visit to report crime.
The station and offices were proposed to close completely under the Mayor of London’s office for policing, but they will now have public access at certain times.
But the plan – part of a cost saving exercise will see – the Met’s facilities in Straight Road, Harold Hill and in the Havering Public Advice & Service Centre in the Liberty Shopping Centre, Romford close.
Romford police station, Main Road, will remain open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
More than 5,500 residents signed a petition against the closure of Hornchurch police station last year.
Cllr Barbara Matthews (Residents’ Association, Hacton), who campaigned against the closure of Hornchurch station, said: “I feel like I’ve won the lottery. It’s really a victory for common sense – I think they listened to the people, due to the geography of the borough you need places for people to report crime in areas like Hornchurch.
“I’d like to thank [GLA member and Conservative councillor for Elm Park] Roger Evans for his help with the campaign as well, he’s worked very hard.”
Met Police commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said: “I want the Met to be the best police service for Londoners. The changes we’re making will help us to fight crime and patrol the streets.
“London’s communities are at the heart of what we do. We will have more officers out on the streets, working daily in local neighbourhoods.”
London Mayor Boris Johnson said: “By getting our police out onto the streets and into the heart of their communities, we will drive down crime and boost confidence, and at the same time build a Met Police Service which is leaner, more efficient and more effective.”
But Cllr John Mylod (Residents’ Association, Hacton) was more cautious about the outcome.
He said: “My understanding is it will only be part time provision and you’ll only be able to go there until about 5 o’ clock – I think it’s a sop to the public.
“It could like the Safer Neighbourhood Team office, where its a case of its open if someone is available, but if not you can’t use it.”