Station closures reducing time Coulsdon police spend on patrol

The police in Coulsdon are having to pack up and stop working before 8pm each night – at least in part because it takes them so long to get back to their nearest police station to finalise their paperwork.

Longer journeys from patrol to police stations are reducing the time when officers operate

That’s the startling admission in a report from officers this week, and comes when there has been a spate of late-night break-ins and car thefts in Old Coulsdon.

The lack of any later patrols from the Coulsdon East Safer Neighbourhood Team appears to be a consequence of the closure of most of Croydon’s police stations under the previous Mayor of London, Boris Johnson. The police station closures was a decision backed enthusiastically by Kenley councillor Steve O’Connell, who is also the Tory London Assembly Member for Croydon and Sutton. The impact is now being felt in Old Coulsdon.

“We do not work night shifts,” the local police’s report states, baldly.

“The latest we work is 8pm, but have to get back to the base in Addington to do paperwork before then.”

Travel time from Coulsdon to Addington is longer than when the officers could use the police station at Kenley, giving them less time to patrol the streets. Now closed, Kenley police station was in O’Connell’s own ward.

After the regular patrols end for the day, all areas of Croydon still have police cover for 999 calls from officers and vehicles operating from a town centre base.

“When we are not working, [the] response team cover the ward as they do with the rest of Croydon,” the officers’ report continues.

“We have however managed to amend some future shifts to work later and will target residents’ concerns when we do these.”

Steve O’Connell: backed police station closures

The Safer Neighbourhood Team’s report was issued via the local councillors for Coulsdon East – O’Connell’s Conservative colleagues at Croydon Town Hall.

The report included figures which contradicted numerous claims that there has been no enforcement of speed limits on local roads, ahead of the roll-out of 20mph zones on the borough’s residential streets.

On August 24, in Coulsdon East alone, 36 drivers were given warnings for speeding, with the police reporting that they had conducted “thousands” of speed checks.

Coulsdon East’s Safer Neighbourhood Team operates with two constables and one PCSO – again, a reduction in staffing introduced when Boris Johnson was London Mayor, with financial control over the Metropolitan Police.

Among other recent arrests, the Coulsdon East team reports: “One male processed for no insurance after driving a moped dangerously on Caterham Drive. The moped was seized by police.

“One male arrested for a high-value theft after being stopped in his vehicle on Coulsdon Road.

“One male arrested and now charged by CID for two burglaries that occurred on The Parade in Coulsdon.”

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This entry was posted in Boris Johnson, Coulsdon, Coulsdon East, Crime, Kenley, London-wide issues, Mayor of London, Policing, Steve O'Connell and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Station closures reducing time Coulsdon police spend on patrol

  1. Lewis White says:

    Having been burgled recently (due to my own stupidity –I forgot to shut a ground floor window overnight), I must say that I was really impressed by the Met Police officers who came and investigated . The first officer attended within a very short time of around an hour after I reported the theft, then the forensics offficer just a few hours later and found hand and foot prints, and the local Coulsdon West officers followed up later with an update and advice in the week.

    Thus, only compliments from me to these officers, and to the Met .

    The first officer apologised for the slight delay in getting to my house as he was based at new Addington, as were the Coulsdon West team.

    I wonder how much time is taken per officer each week, in all this travel?. And how much stress it adds to their work?

    I can’t help wondering if a Purley base would save time for the local teams in Coulsdon, Purley and Kenley areas–or use the old Kenley base..

  2. Steve O’Connell is not just a Kenley councillor and the London Assembly Member for Croydon and Sutton.

    It just so happens that he chairs the Assembly’s Police and Crime Committee, and prior to that, was a member of the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime.

    His cheerleading of Boris’s closure decisions is a poignant example of him having put his party before the interests of the people he’s paid very handsomely to represent.

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