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Unstaffed police office blasted as a waste of resources'

PUBLISHED: 17:44 21 October 2009 | UPDATED: 10:50 12 August 2010

A RESIDENT has slammed a decision for police to close the public reception to one of their rural stations as a waste of money . A sign in the window of the Green Street Green Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) office informs residents that the reception is

A RESIDENT has slammed a decision for police to close the public reception to one of their rural stations as a "waste of money".

A sign in the window of the Green Street Green Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) office informs residents that the reception is 'closed indefinitely' despite thousands being spent on building a shop front and reception at the former post office site.

Furious resident David Daws contacted the Times after we reported that the Mottingham and Chislehurst North SNT closed to the public when they could no longer recruit volunteers to man the desks.

But Mr Daws, of Cudham Lane North, said that the Green Street Green High Street SNT reception has been closed since building work finished at the site in January.

He said: "It is ridiculous. They have spent thousands of pounds converting it into a police office but it has never been open to the public.

"They use it for police and CSOs, it is quite a big place but why are they spending all that money to convert it but never open it? There is a counter and a shop front, but it has not been used for nearly a year.

"I wonder if Chief Inspector Ian Gallehawk even knows it's there.

"If I want the police, I have to ring Biggin Hill which is a few hundred yards from Chelsfield, but it is only open a couple of hours a day."

A spokesperson for Bromley police declined to be drawn on how much had been spent on converting the former post office to a police office, claiming that it is the responsibility of the Metropolitan Police Authority.

The spokesperson added: "It was never the intention of the Metropolitan Police Service to provide staff for these offices. However, where volunteers are available and there is enough demand, Bromley police have been able to staff some front counters with volunteers."

Chief Inspector Ian Gallehawk added: "The Police Office in Green Street Green has never had a staffed front counter. It is not MPS policy to staff front counters at Safer Neighbourhood bases.

"In rolling out its Safer Neighbourhood programme, Bromley Borough Police created an opportunity for volunteers to staff a number of front counters.

"The non availability of volunteers and low number of visitors at front counters has led to some front counters not being staffed.

"Volunteers from Green Street Green continue to assist the police with other tasks together with many other volunteers across the borough."

kate.mead@archant.co.uk

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