Mayor needs to do more to explain police station closures

Published: Thursday 21st December 17

Councillors say the Mayor needs to do more to explain to borough residents why local police stations are closing.

On Thursday of last week the front counter at Wandsworth police station closed to the public.

The public can no longer visit Tooting police station and it is earmarked to be sold. When this happens it will not be available as a base for Tooting’s safer neighbourhoods teams.

And it has also been announced that Lavender Hill police station – currently the borough’s only 24 hour police station - will close completely and is set to be sold once a suitable replacement can be found.     

The changes are part of a rationalisation programme overseen by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) that has seen the closure of dozens of police stations and front office counters across the capital.

Other changes affecting Wandsworth include the ending of informal police contact sessions at a number of community locations including the Asda Supermarket at Roehampton, Battersea’s York Gardens library, St Mary’s Church café in Putney and the small police office in Nine Elms.

Community Services spokesman Cllr Jonathan cook said: “So far there has been very little attempt by the Mayor to explain the thinking behind these changes. But it is happening on his watch and under his administration so he owes it to Londoners to tell them why these decisions are being made.

“No doubt he will argue that he is only reacting to funding pressures, but there are other efficiencies that could and should have been explored before taking the drastic decision to close and sell off police stations and deprive the public of the reassurance these provide.

“What the closures risk doing is making the police more detached and remote from the communities they serve.

“It is not too late for the Mayor to re-think these proposals and come up with a better solution for Londoners.”

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Recent comments

is this not the process that that great communitarian Boris Johnson started? I don't remember Wandsworth's biased article then? Hypocrites as ever
Roger Stephenson

24 December 2017

Please expand your comments about the other efficiencies that could and should have been explored.
marilyn maguire

22 December 2017

I don't think this will make much difference to the crime solving in Wandsworth as our police as about as useful as a chocolate fireguard. Utterly pointless paying to have them as they solve nothing

22 December 2017

Closing down police stations is a frightening thought for Londoners. We need accessible services not like them. London needs and wants a visible presence on our streets.
Mary Gladwin

22 December 2017

It's pretty clear it's due to the funding cuts - they're already doing all they can to save money. Tory councillors need to admit it's the Tory government that is causing this, instead of trying to shift blame elsewhere.
Jenny Scott-Thompson

22 December 2017

What's the Labour MP for Battersea doing about this scandal ?
Norman Wilkinson

22 December 2017

A stabbing a day - acid attacks daily - frequent terrorists attacks - shop window smashing to rob - moped thieves - and they cut Police numbers - Police Station in Battersea Bridge long gone. So with all the police stations going - when there is a serious crime - where is transport parked for police to get to the crime quickly ? - or do they even bother now ? We need more police to keep up with the size of the ever increasing population - just read Wandsworth Guardian daily (on line) to see all the crimes being committed.
Liz D

22 December 2017

I think Sadiq Khan needs to consult local residents before making these ridiculous decisions. I am a Neighborhood Watch Coordinator and also on the SNT panel in Furzedown.
Barbara Clay

22 December 2017

This is bridiculous. Since 2010 the Tory government has been cutting numbers; this was obvious under Boris Johnson.In 2011 the MP for Battersea said that it was not a question of numbers, but of how they were deployed. She did nothing to reassure local SN Panel members. WBC cut the Parks Police, then found, as we told them they would, that there were no more Boris bog-offs. Parks Police were disbanded. These cuts and proposed closures are not new – they were always on the agenda. There were recent public meetings to answer people's concerns and explain what was happening; Councillors were present. Please stop blaming the current Mayor for what was being set up 6-7 years ago; it is unbecoming behaviour.
susan lofthouse

21 December 2017