Campaign launched against police counter closure in Walthamstow

Campaigners outside the Safer Neighbourhood Team base in Walthamstow High Street.

Campaigners outside the Safer Neighbourhood Team base in Walthamstow High Street.

First published in Waltham Forest East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Senior reporter

A campaign has been launched against plans to close public access to a police base in Walthamstow High Street.


The Safer Neighbourhood Team office, opposite the market entrance to the Selborne Walk Mall, is set to have its front counter shut as part of proposals by City Hall to save £500million across London by 2015.


The Labour group in Walthamstow, including MP Stella Creasy and council cabinet members Cllr Liaquat Ali and Cllr Clare Coghill, are calling on Conservative Mayor of London Boris Johnson to rethink the proposals.
 

The plans, announced three weeks ago, also include the closure of public access at Leytonstone Police Station, and confirmation of the sale of stations in Leyton and Walthamstow, although these were previously announced last year.
 

Labour has expressed fears the closures will make it harder for residents to report crimes.


But Mr Johnson says the cuts are essential to maintain police numbers in London, and that redeploying officers 'in the community' will make them more accountable and visible to the public.


Waltham Forest is also set to get the biggest increase in police officer numbers under the shake-up, with 119 extra officers taking the size of the borough's force up to 642 by 2015.


But Ms Creasy said: "These changes are causing real fears for many about the impact this will have on the service they receive.


"The mayor wants to close the counter service in the busy high street  and so leaving Walthamstow without any police station the public can attend at all.


"I've had many residents get in touch expressing their fears about what they will do if they need to speak to the police as they don't want to have to go all the way up to Chingford [Police Station]."


Ms Creasy also criticised the “silence” of the Liberal Democrats on the issue, and urged them to join the campaign.


Mr Johnson defended the London-wide plans in a statement and said the number of people visiting front counters to report crimes was falling.


He added: “In the current economic climate there is no denying that tough decisions will have to be made but policing in the capital is changing and we must change with it”.


Campaigners are calling on residents to attend a public consultation meeting on Monday February 25 at Walthamstow Assembly Hall in Forest Road from 6pm.


Visit www.london.gov.uk/policingevents to register.

Comments (4)

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10:25pm Thu 31 Jan 13

Cornbeefur says...

What should be asked under the Freedom of Information Act is how much they have spent to Bring the building up to a Standard for Police Use and how much money they are committed for the Lease.

The figure will be frightening!
What should be asked under the Freedom of Information Act is how much they have spent to Bring the building up to a Standard for Police Use and how much money they are committed for the Lease. The figure will be frightening! Cornbeefur
  • Score: 0

12:29pm Fri 1 Feb 13

TTMAN says...

They look like extras from Eastenders
They look like extras from Eastenders TTMAN
  • Score: 0

2:59pm Fri 1 Feb 13

malpasc says...

Very bad idea. The High Street suffers with anti-social behaviour. At least the police counter offers some reassurance of a police presence. For this reason I think it should be kept open.

For an area the size of Walthamstow having no police stations at all seems ridiculous. Clearly dreamed up by someone who doesn't live in an area where there is a lot of crime and anti-social behaviour.
Very bad idea. The High Street suffers with anti-social behaviour. At least the police counter offers some reassurance of a police presence. For this reason I think it should be kept open. For an area the size of Walthamstow having no police stations at all seems ridiculous. Clearly dreamed up by someone who doesn't live in an area where there is a lot of crime and anti-social behaviour. malpasc
  • Score: 0

4:11pm Fri 1 Feb 13

Cornbeefur says...

malpasc wrote:
Very bad idea. The High Street suffers with anti-social behaviour. At least the police counter offers some reassurance of a police presence. For this reason I think it should be kept open.

For an area the size of Walthamstow having no police stations at all seems ridiculous. Clearly dreamed up by someone who doesn't live in an area where there is a lot of crime and anti-social behaviour.
Of course! Most of the local Police live out in the sticks no doubt, have no real concern but probably regularly complain to their local County Force about inaction in their own manor.
[quote][p][bold]malpasc[/bold] wrote: Very bad idea. The High Street suffers with anti-social behaviour. At least the police counter offers some reassurance of a police presence. For this reason I think it should be kept open. For an area the size of Walthamstow having no police stations at all seems ridiculous. Clearly dreamed up by someone who doesn't live in an area where there is a lot of crime and anti-social behaviour.[/p][/quote]Of course! Most of the local Police live out in the sticks no doubt, have no real concern but probably regularly complain to their local County Force about inaction in their own manor. Cornbeefur
  • Score: 0

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