Thousands sign petition against mayor of London's 'drastic' plan to close Bexleyheath Police Station
PUBLISHED: 11:10 08 September 2017 | UPDATED: 11:33 08 September 2017
Sadiq Khan hopes to sell off a number of buildings to fund frontline policing
Fears Bexleyheath Police Station could be sold off by the mayor of London have sparked an online petition gaining thousands of signatures.
More than 2,800 people have signed the petition which calls for Sadiq Khan to abandon closing the building, which currently houses Bexley’s only 24-hour front counter.
Under plans to fund frontline policing, the counter, which saw less than two crimes reported a day during May, would be moved along with other services, to Marlowe House in Sidcup.
MPs, councillors, and the neighbourhood watch have all expressed concern with the proposal to close 30 police stations across the capital along with smaller properties used by Met Police.
The mayor’s office says closing front counters will “raise £170million capital and deliver £10million savings each year which could be used to free up officers to spend more time in their communities.”
Bexleyheath and Crayford MP David Evennett branded the proposal “reckless and unacceptable”, while Erith and Thamesmead’s Labour MP Teresa Pearce urged residents to sign the petition, available here.
Announcing the proposals in July, Mr Khan said he had “no choice” but to take what he called “drastic action” in the face of government cuts to Met Police funding.
He added: “By freeing up officers and moving them closer to their communities, they will be able to spend more time on the beat to tackle the issues that matter most to Londoners.”
Rejecting the Labour mayor’s suggestion, petitioners say “travelling to Sidcup by public transport is challenging. There is a very limited bus service to Marlowe House and parking facilities are both limited and costly.
“The proposed new location would therefore make using the front office extremely difficult, especially for people living in the north of the borough.”
In a Bexley Times poll, around 92 per cent of voters said the police station should remain open.
The mayor of London’s plans are currently undergoing a public consultation until October 6.
To have your say, click here.