Legal Challenge To Wimbledon Police Station Closure

Attack victim is campaigning to save Queens Road facility

A man who says his life was saved by the prompt action of officers from Wimbledon police station is fighting against its closure.

Paul Kohler was held down and repeatedly beaten and kicked during a burglary at his Kings Road home in 2014.

Following a 999 call from his daughter Eloise, officers from the nearby Queens Road station arrived within eight minutes to save his life from the attackers. He said it could have been 20 or more minutes if they'd have come from Mitcham.

He now wants to stage a legal challenge against the Mayor of London's controversial cost-cutting plans, which will see the 24/7 front counter service moved to Mitcham. It is thought the sale of the building will raise nearly £7m.

The decision has been made after a review by the Metropolitan Police, which is facing £1bn worth of cuts and plans to close 37 stations.

Now Dr Kohler, who had extensive injuries in the attack and has been left with permanent double vision, is launching judicial review proceedings against the closure decision.

He has instructed leading public law solicitors, Leigh Day, and barrister David Wolfe QC, with a view to launching judicial review proceedings to ensure the Mayor consults Londoners more thoroughly than the original consultation and gives sensible consideration to various options available to him. He is also aiming to raise £5,000 to support the legal move through a legal  crowd-funding website.

He said: "I am appalled by the government's decision to cut the Metropolitan Police budget by over £1bn and Sadiq Khan's equally ludicrous decision to close so many of London's police stations after an unimaginative, simplistic and inadequately researched assessment of the capital's current and future policing needs.

"The Mayor's decision to restrict London to only one 24/7 police station per borough is too inflexible and ignores the needs of different areas. He has also failed to provide any hard evidence or figures to support his various assertions of the savings to be made and the efficiencies to be gained, nor to back up his assurance that his policy will not put Londoners at greater risk."

He also said he was "saddened" that his detailed response to the consultation was dismissed, while he claimed that Wimbledon MP Stephen Hammond, and Council Leader Stephen Alambritis, ignored his plea for a cross party campaign against the proposals.

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December 8, 2017

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Wimbledon Police Station

Paul Kohler (left) with daughter Tamara Kohler and Richard Hackforth-Jones outside Wimbledon police station

Wimbledon Police Station set for closure