Last chance to have your say plans to close Bexleyheath Police Station
PUBLISHED: 15:37 03 October 2017
A City Hall consultation ends on on Friday
Thousands of campaigners have made their voices heard in the fight to keep Bexleyheath Police Station open.
In July, the mayor of London launched a consultation proposing to close the town centre building, which is set to close on Friday.
The plans were immediately met with contempt, and a petition to abandon them has reached more than 3,600 signatures.
With just days left to respond to the proposal, Bexley council has branded the consultation process as “seriously flawed”.
Sadiq Khan responded: “There is the widest possible consultation with public meetings held in every borough to get residents’ views.”
He did not comment on accusations from Bexley council that consultation questions were “leading” or that low visitor numbers to police counters shown in the consultation were “seriously misleading”.
A council spokesperson said “We recognise the need for efficiencies and the need to focus resources on ‘front line’ staffing, but we do not support the move of the 24/7 police station service in the borough from Bexleyheath to Sidcup.
“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.”
If approved, the council says it will have to fork out “significant costs” to relay CCTV cabling from the council’s CCTV centre to Marlowe House.
Mr Khan said: “My top priority is keeping Londoners safe, and I have been clear that the huge government cuts to the Metropolitan Police Service have left us with no choice but to take drastic action to protect the frontline of policing.
“I do not want to close any front counters or police stations and I understand the concern in our local communities.
“Under the proposals, which we are forced to do due to government cuts, a 24/7 front counter service will be maintained in every borough and the telephone and online services that Londoners value so highly will be improved and police officers will spend more time on the beat in their communities.
“We are doing everything we can to maintain the best possible service for Londoners, but the Met budget is at a cliff-edge and I continue to call on the government to take urgent action and properly fund our police service.”
A spokesperson for the mayor said there was no time range for when an announcement on the station’s future would be made.