Havering Council leader calls for judicial review of decision to close borough’s police stations
PUBLISHED: 17:31 10 January 2018
The leader of Havering Council is calling for a judicial review of the decision to close a swathe of the borough’s police buildings, branding a public consultation held on the proposals “unlawful”.
Last year, the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (Mopac) carried out a consultation on the closure of both Hornchurch and Rainham police stations, along with all Safer Neighbourhood bases apart from Elm Park, and reached a decision to close these sites.
Since then, Councillor Roger Ramsey, leader of Havering Council, has sent a letter to MOPAC and the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service demanding that they reconsider the closures and withdraw the decision to close the public access points across the borough.
In UK law, a judicial review sees a judge examine the processes behind how a decision, most often made by public organisations, was reached.
Cllr Ramsey said: “The outcome of Mopac’s consultation was unacceptable, and the process was even worse.
“We are advised that it was unlawful which is why I have approved a claim for judicial review.
“To start off with, the consultation was unlawful because decisions had already been made before the consultation started.
“The language used in the consultation such as “choices like this are inevitable” demonstrates that regardless of what was said during the consultation – a decision had already been made.”
The council leader went on to state that not enough information was provided during the consultation, arguing that those responding could not compare current running costs to the proposed savings as no figures were ever provided.
Cllr Ramsey also pointed out that the decision could in fact be discrimating against Havering’s older population, adding: “By law, both Mopac and the commissioner must comply with the public sector equality duty.
“They failed to do this, and were not aware of the impact of the decision on residents of Havering – which has the oldest population in London.
“Older residents may feel more comfortable having face-to-face contact with police at the existing buildings.
“Older and disabled residents may have a greater difficulty in accessing the one remaining police station in Romford.”