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Time runs out for police station

PUBLISHED: 16:55 27 January 2010 | UPDATED: 10:22 12 August 2010

LANDMARK: Penge police station at the turn of the 20th century. Left, new public counter and Borough Commander Charles Griggs.

LANDMARK: Penge police station at the turn of the 20th century. Left, new public counter and Borough Commander Charles Griggs.

SERVICES from a landmark police station, thought to be the oldest in London, are being moved as the building is stuck in the 1870s , according to the commander. The counter service at Penge police station, in High Street, is being relocated to nearby

SERVICES from a landmark police station, thought to be the oldest in London, are being moved as the building is "stuck in the 1870s", according to the commander.

The counter service at Penge police station, in High Street, is being relocated to nearby Maple Road, after police chiefs decided the building was not fit for purpose.

The police station opened in 1872 after pressure from church ministers concerned about rising levels of crime. Since 2003, the counter has had only limited opening times, following the opening of the borough's main police station in Bromley High Street.

Bromley Borough Commander Charles Griggs admitted it was a shame to lose landmark police stations, but said the inside of the building remained stuck in the 1870s.

He added: "The police station itself is very expensive to keep going. We are now in the position where Bromley borough is almost 100 per cent match-fit, with its estate being totally modernised. Penge is the last old police station.

"I am pleased that the police authority have agreed to allow us to provide a front-counter service from Maple Road. These are modern facilities which will be more welcoming and accessible to all.

"It is important to clarify that the decision made by the police authority was not to close Penge Police Station at this time. There will still be teams operating from there."

The decision was made at a Metropolitan Police Association (MPA) meeting last Thursday when members voted to transfer the front counter to the new shop in Maple Road. A date for the change has yet to be decided.

Head of MPA's estate strategy Graham Speed said closing police stations was emotive but claimed the move has been welcomed by the community.

He said: "This is just an example of the authority's estates strategy in operation. The Bromley estate is now almost totally modernised. We would very much like to be in a position to say that statement across all the boroughs.

"It will be some time until we get there but we are working on it."

marina.soteriou@archant.co.uk

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