Bromley could lose 15 police sites including two public counters under plans suggested by Sadiq Khan
PUBLISHED: 11:49 19 July 2017 | UPDATED: 14:59 24 July 2017
Penge and West Wickham are set to lose their counters
Proposals to drop the number of police counters open to the public down to just one have been put forward by the mayor of London.
Sadiq Khan is suggesting to close and sell Copperfield House in Penge and the volunteer-run West Wickham counter, as the service is used less and less by the public.
In May, no crimes were reported at the West Wickham desk, while the average daily number of crimes reported at Copperfield House was 0.1 for the same month.
If plans put forward in a consultation go ahead, Bromley Police Station would become the last front counter in the borough, and would maintain its round-the-clock opening hours.
But 13 more sites scattered around the borough could go, including contact points at The Walnuts Shopping Centre in Orpington and Green Street Green High Street, along with a number of bases for the borough’s Safer Neighbourhood Teams, including ones at Cray Police Office and in Croydon Road, Beckenham.
Mr Khan claimed he had “no choice” but to take what he called “drastic action to protect the frontline of policing”.
The Labour mayor went on: “My top priority is keeping Londoners safe, and every pound saved by closing a front counter is a pound of savings that we do not have to find by reducing the frontline”.
A spokesperson from Met Police told us: “Selling property that does not meet the required standard to support our frontline policing teams results in more resources being available for effective and accessible policing such as our network of dedicated ward officers.
“The money from sales and what would have been spent on keeping buildings running is also invested in servicing the changing way Londoners want to contact the police through digital channels, updating our remaining buildings and provided the best possible IT so we can deliver a modern police service fit for the 21st century.”
Gareth Bacon, Bromley’s representative in City Hall, added: “I’m not surprised these plans are being considered, funding frontline policing is a problem Mr Khan has very much inherited from Boris Johnson.
“It is a problem that needs to be addressed, but I think what is most important is people have their say and that Mr Khan maintains a constant dialogue with residents to understand how these facilities could be replaced going forward.”