Bexley Times helps bring fight to save Bexleyheath Police Station to City Hall
PUBLISHED: 15:33 19 October 2017
Sadiq Khan has proposed closing the site and moving services to Sidcup
Petitioners fighting to save Bexleyheath Police Station from closure headed to City Hall today (Thursday).
Armed with more than 8,000 signatures and a copy of Bexley Times publicising their campaign on the front page, campaigners from the Bexley Neighbourhood Watch Association and the Safer Neighbourhood Board handed their petition to assembly member Gareth Bacon.
The fight to protect the town centre station came in July, after mayor of London Sadiq Khan announced plans to close a number of stations across the capital including Bexleyheath’s.
If closed, Mr Khan would like to see services, including the station’s front counter, moved to Marlowe House in Sidcup, sparking concerns from Bexley council, which warned: “Relocating the police station will move it from the ward in the borough with the highest crime, to the area with the lowest crime, which will inevitably impact on response times.”
The local authority also warned it would have to fork out “significant costs” to relay CCTV cabling from the council’s CCTV centre to Marlowe House.
Mr Khan says the London-wide closures could raise £170million, blaming government cuts as the reason behind the move as Met Police faces a £400million drop in funding by 2020.
Dana Whiffen, chair of Bexley Neighbourhood Watch Association, pictured holding the Bexley Times, warned the NWA could lose its base.
The Sidcup resident warned: “We’re currently based at Bexleyheath, if they’re going to move all of the police over to Marlowe House, then what happens if there’s no room for us?
“Obviously we will need to see what happens, but it is concerning as we won’t be able to operate as well if we are based at home, we depend on having a good relationship with the police.”
Concerns have also been raised by the borough’s assembly member, Gareth Bacon and Bexleyheath and Crayford’s MP, David Evennett, who described the proposal as “reckless and unacceptable”.
This week, Sadiq Khan hit back at the Tory MP, saying: “David Evennett should be focusing his anger on the government he supports, rather than on the Met.
“Rather than playing party politics he should be concerned with public safety.
“He now has a real opportunity to put the safety of local people ahead of party politics by pushing his Tory Government to ensure the Met receives the funding it needs at the budget on the November 22.”
A consultation on the proposed closure has now closed, with no date confirmed for the police station’s future.