Mayor's office to go ahead with planned police station closures across Havering
PUBLISHED: 13:30 01 November 2017 | UPDATED: 12:00 02 November 2017
All but one of Havering's police stations will be closed over the next few years to help the Met make savings of £400million, it has been announced today.
On July 14, the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) put forward proposals to close both Hornchurch and Rainham police stations along with seven Safer Neighbourhood bases where members of the public can contact the Police’s Safer Neighbourhood teams face-to-face.
Such a move would only leave one 24-hour publicly accessible police station in the borough – Romford.
A patrol base in Spilsbury Road, Harold Hill, will also remain open, while a Met-owned building in Tadworth Parade, Elm Park, will be converted into a hub for dedicated ward officers.
A 12-week public consultation – which included two meetings in Havering for residents to have their say on the proposals – was held on the plans, and more than 4,000 Londoners responded.
Despite many raising concerns about closing police stations and front counters, all proposed changes in the borough are now set to become a reality.
In a joint foreword to the finalised plans, Sophie Linden, deputy mayor for policing and crime, and Cressida Dick, Metropolitan Police commissioner, stressed “our first priority is keeping Londoners safe”.
They said: “Our investment in front line policing, and the equipment needed for a 21st century police force, is made possible by selling expensive to run buildings – many of which only support ‘back-office’ activity – which are underused or no longer needed.
“This investment will equip officers with the technology they need to spend more time out in the communities they serve.”
But Keith Prince, Havering and Redbridge’s representative on the London Assembly, said the public consultation on these plans had been a “poorly advertised charade”.
Mr Prince, who attended one of the public meetings on the plans held in Redbridge, told the Recorder: “Having previously worked as an advisor to the last deputy mayor for policing and crime, I am well aware of and have sympathy for the budgetary pressures the mayor is under.
“But it is always regrettable if even a single police station closes, and I think this entire process has been handled atrociously.”