Residents fight to stop plans to close Hornchurch Police Station
PUBLISHED: 10:59 12 June 2012
Hornchurch Police Station could be forced to close its doors for good as part of the Met’s latest cost-cutting measures.
The proposals to close the building, in Station Road, has been met by anger from residents and councillors who argue that it would leave just one police station to serve the whole of the borough.
Cllr Barbara Matthews (Residents’ Association, Hacton ward) said: “I am absolutely horrified by the decision because if it does go ahead it will mean that there will be no real police presence in the south of the borough and the nearest police station will be Romford.”
Romford and Hornchurch stations are currently the only two serving Havering, following the closure of Harold Hill station in 2010.
A police training centre in St Mary’s Lane, Upminster, and an abandoned police station in Collier Row Lane, Collier Row, have also been sold by the Met.
However, there is a new Harold Hill patrol base in Spilsby Road and a number of Safer Neighbourhood Team shop fronts across the borough.
But Cllr Matthews says that the plans to close Hornchurch would be a ‘nightmare’.
She said: “Hornchurch Police Station is not just a local nick where you can deal with administration but it also deals with serious issues and it has a number of cells which are used when Romford Police Station is full.
“Safer Neighbourhood Teams are not a reliable replacement; they do a good job, but a lot of the residents don’t know their opening hours and they haven’t got the same powers as police officers.”
The final decision is set to be made by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson later in the year.
The Hornchurch Residents’ Association has set up a petition to save Hornchurch Police Station.
Cllr John Mylod (RA, St Andrew’s ward) said: “It would be an absolute catastrophe if it closed.
“We would end up with a situation where we only have one police station in the borough and police cars rushing around all the time and residents not knowing who their local bobby is.”
He added: “We as a group feel really strongly about it and we will do anything that we can to stop Hornchurch Police Station closing because we know that it will just be one big nightmare.”
A spokesman for Havering Police said: “The MPS is reviewing the whole of the property estate to ensure we are making best use of it and identifying efficiency savings that can be reinvested into operational policing.
“As part of this we are looking at Hornchurch Police Station and what facilities we will need in the future to meet operational policing requirements in the borough.”
View the petition on http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/save-hornchurch-police-station/signatures.html.