Hornchurch police station: No movement on purchase plan as assurances sought about station's future

Hornchurch Police station closure

The saga of Hornchurch police station's future began in 2017, when MOPAC looked to close it down - Credit: Archant

Discussions are still ongoing regarding the future of Hornchurch police station, with the council insisting an increase in officers is essential regardless. 

The issue first arose in 2017, when the Mayor’s Office for Police and Crime (MOPAC) put forward proposals to close both Rainham and Hornchurch police stations. 

Havering Council led a judicial review in response to the plans, and was subsequently given approval in July 2018 to buy the station and lease it back to MOPAC. 

Despite going public with the plans at the time, the Recorder revealed earlier this year that four years on, the purchase had still not been completed.

It was stalled because MOPAC wanted to assess the impact of the government’s scheme to recruit 20,000 more officers around the UK, which was announced in 2019.

Cllr Ray Morgon, who is now leader of the council but was heading up the Residents’ Group at the time, raised the issue in a full council meeting in March. 

He told this paper following the meeting: “Sadly, the leader of the council [Cllr Damian White] has once again misled the public by claiming that Hornchurch police station had been saved, whereas the council only ever had an option to buy it and that, of course, would be subject to a viable business case.”

Cllr Ray Morgon, leader of Havering Council

Cllr Ray Morgon, leader of Havering Council - Credit: Havering Council

Then-leader Cllr White said although the sale had been pushed back, the local authority had the judicial backing and allocated capital ready for when the station is made available for purchase again. 

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Cllr Morgon has now said the council is still waiting to hear back on the plans to buy the station back from MOPAC, but added the priority is to ensure the area concerned is effectively policed. 

“The most important thing is that we see this increase in police officers patrolling our streets to deal with a growing population. So, if this means we need to still purchase the police station, then we will continue those discussions.  

“This is unless the Met can offer an alternative solution that still means we get the police presence to deter crime and keep the borough safe.” 

A spokesperson for MOPAC said discussions remain ongoing regarding the station’s future. 

Pressure has also been applied by Hornchurch and Upminster MP Julia Lopez, who last month wrote to London mayor Sadiq Khan and spoke to Cllr Morgon requesting assurances that the issue would be resolved.