Four-year delay: Hornchurch Police Station 'may yet be bought', after claims it was ‘saved’ in 2018 

Former leader of the council, Roger Ramsey and Damian White, leader of the council outside of Hornchurch Police Station...

Former leader of the council, Cllr Roger Ramsey, and Cllr Damian White, leader of the council, outside Hornchurch Police Station - Credit: Archant

Plans to buy Hornchurch Police Station and save it from closure are still on the cards nearly four years after they were announced, the council has insisted. 

The Mayor’s Office for Police and Crime (MOPAC), which owns the station, put forward proposals in 2017 to close both Rainham and Hornchurch police stations.  

However, following a judicial review led by Havering Council, the local authority was given approval in July 2018 to buy the station and lease it back to MOPAC in order to retain a police presence in the area. 

Despite going public with the plans at the time, Havering Council's purchase of the site has not yet been completed. 

In 2018 council leader Damian White described the deal as “a wonderful type of initiative that we have been able to achieve”

Councillor Damian White, leader of Havering Council

Cllr Damian White, Conservative leader of Havering Council - Credit: Mark Sepple / Havering Council

However, the purchase stalled in 2019 after the government announced it wanted to recruit 20,000 more officers nationally. MOPAC said it wanted to assess the impact this would have on the Met service, with the final allocation of the additional forces confirmed in December 2021. 

The fact Hornchurch Police Station was never purchased was raised in a full council meeting on March 23.  

Leader of the Residents' Group, Cllr Ray Morgon, told this paper following the meeting: “Sadly, the leader of the council 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

Cllr Ray Morgon, leader of the Residents' Group - Credit: Havering Council

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Cllr White said although the sale had been pushed back, the council has the judicial backing and allocated capital ready for when the station is made available for purchase again.

He added the council had continued to tackle “significant crime issues”, for example by providing funding for Section 92 officers at Hornchurch, integral to the cross-borough Operation Gambler initiative

Both MOPAC and the council have confirmed the intention remains for the station to be purchased by Havering and leased back to the Met.  

The council said: “This review has not changed the original decision to sell the police station and the council remains in discussions with the Metropolitan Police on proceeding with the purchase as soon as the police service is ready to do so.” 

Hornchurch Police station closure

Hornchurch Police Station - Credit: Archant