Croydon is one of the London boroughs worst affected by proposals from the Mayor of London Boris Johnson to close police stations.
According to research conducted by the Green Party’s London Assembly Member Jenny Jones, an additional 107,774 people during the day and 75,458 people at night in Croydon will be further than 45 minutes from a police station or front counter.
With six of the police stations in the borough of Croydon set to close, as Johnson seeks to flog off the property assets on the Metropolitan Police’s books, it will be residents in the south of the borough, where Purley and Kenley stations are to be shut, who will be worst affected.
According to Jones, the proposals in the Mayor’s consultation Police and Crime Plan could result in at least 1million more Londoners being more than 45 minutes by public transport from a police station or front counter at night.
The maps are considerably more reliable than those first produced by the Mayor’s Office, which showed Kenley – earmarked for closure – in the north of the borough.
Jones will be raising this with Stephen Greenhalgh, Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, at the latest Police and Crime Committee meeting.
“I have produced these maps as a way of helping Londoners understand the impact of these proposed changes, addressing one of the many inadequacies of the Mayor’s consultation on his draft Police and Crime Plan,” Jones said.
“The draft plan doesn’t provide any information about how much money will be saved by closing front counters across London. There is no detail about the new contact points which will replace front counters: where they will be, what the cost is to open them, or what their opening hours will be.
“It is really difficult for Londoners to be properly involved in a decision about closing front counters if they have no idea about whether these savings are essential and what the alternatives would cost,” said the Green AM.
“We know a quarter of all rapes are reported to front counters, but what other crimes are reported to them and where do you go to hand in a lost wallet?
“The draft plan doesn’t make clear what will happen to our Safer Neighbourhood Team bases. Londoners will find out once the Mayor has signed off the plans. The Mayor does not know what the impact of his plan will be on frontline policing, again Londoners will find out once the plans have been agreed,” said the senior City Hall figure.
“Many of the figures about police numbers used in the consultation were adjusted and are currently in dispute. Londoners deserve a proper consultation where they are provided with all the facts in an unbiased way, so that they can make an informed decision. I hope the Mayor will launch a second stage to his current consultation and provide Londoners will all the information they need in order to properly take part.”
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- VIDEO: London police station closures ‘will save £140million a year’ (london24.com)
- Mayor plans 10 per cent cut to police budget in bid to lower council tax (standard.co.uk)