WOODFORD GREEN: Petition launched to save police station from closure (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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Petition launched by Monkhams ward neighbourhood watch group to save Woodford police station in High Road, Woodford Green from closure
A PETITON has been launched by a concerned resident to save a threatened police station from closure.
Lori Shearer of the Monkhams ward neighbourhood watch group started the petition a week ago and has so far collected around 450 signatures.
Woodford police station in High Road, Woodford Green is one of three stations in Redbridge which could close as the Met looks to save £500million from its budget by 2015.
Mrs Shearer said: "It would be disastrous if we lost the station. It is the heart of the community.
"We are constantly growing in size and reducing resources - it doesn't make sense. We don't want our resources reduced, we want them increased.
"The police station helps foster the idea of a community, it is not just about security.
"I cannot even speculate what will happen if we lose it. I cannot say that crime is going to go up, but what I can say is if our police have to travel in from Leytonstone there will be time lost which could be spent policing our streets.
"I feel quite desperate about it. I really feel our police station is special."
Wanstead police station and Chadwell Heath are also earmarked for closure, with plans to move Safer Neighbourhood Teams to Barkingside or Leytonstone.
Campaigners fear that if the police stations close that crime in the area will only rise.
Last month Redbridge councillors voted unanimously to put pressure on Mayor of London Boris Johnson, Metropolitan Police commissioner Bernard Hogan Howe and Redbridge borough commander Sue Williams in an attempt to save all three stations.
During the meeting last month, cabinet member for safety and community, Cllr Shoaib Patel, said: "The police need the right resources to do their job and people need to feel safe. Police stations are vital."
Council leader Keith Prince has offered to provide a base for Wanstead and Woodford Safer Neighbourhood Teams in the west of Redbridge should the stations close.
A petition organised by the Wanstead and Snaresbrook Residents' Alliance to save Wanstead police station, which was signed by 3,500 residents, will be presented to City Hall on October 24.
To sign the petition email firstname.lastname@example.org and address it 'Attention Petition'.
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