Havering Council files judicial review after decision to close borough’s police stations

Councillor Roger Ramsey, Leader of Havering Council at Hornchurch Police Station. Photo: Havering Co

Councillor Roger Ramsey, Leader of Havering Council at Hornchurch Police Station. Photo: Havering Council - Credit: Archant

Havering Council has started to take legal action to challenge the police station closures which have been deemed “unlawful”.

The council has filed a judicial review against the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (Mopac) and the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service’s decision to close police buildings in the borough.

Last year, a consultation was carried out 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.

Earlier this month, council leader Councillor Roger Ramsey called for a judicial review after writing a letter to Mopac on the grounds that the consultation was “unlawful” and that they failed to comply with the public sector equality duty.

On January 11, the Mayor’s Office responded to the council, standing by its original decision.

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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: “After writing to both Mopac and the commissioner and receiving a disappointing response, it was essential we started court action.

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“This will demonstrate that we will not tolerate the closure of our public access police stations as the safety of our residents is paramount.

“The Mopac consultation process was not undertaken properly.

“The decision will have a negative impact on residents in the south of the borough who will have to travel over an hour to their nearest police station, which is not acceptable.

“Also older residents may feel more comfortable having face-to-face contact with police and it will be unjust to take this away from them.”

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