Legal Challenge Mounted Against London Police Station Closure Plans

Wimbledon's Queens Road station is on the closure list

Wimbledon resident Paul Kohler has formally launched a legal challenge to the London Mayor’s plans to close 37 police stations across the capital.

The legal challenge is seeking permission to take the decision to close more than half of the current police stations in London to Judicial Review, including Wimbledon Police Station in Queens Road.

Lawyers acting on behalf of Mr Kohler have argued that the public consultation and consequent decision were legally flawed and unlawful.

Mr Kohler, who was subjected to a vicious attack in his Kings Road home, believes he only survived because police officers were able to get to his house from the nearby Wimbledon station, one of the 37 police stations under threat of closure as part of an asset disposal programme expected to bring in £170m.

Commenting, Paul Kohler, a SOAS University academic said: “The Mayor’s plan to remove police stations from the heart of many communities is a short-sighted and unimaginative response to the funding crisis caused by the Government’s equally misguided decision to slash the Metropolitan Police budget.”

Mr Kohler, aged 58, was held down and repeatedly beaten and kicked during the burglary 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.

Supporting the challenge that was launched on January 25, London Liberal Democrat MP and Spokesperson on Home Affairs, Ed Davey said: “The Conservatives' decision to continue slashing the police budget has left police forces up and down the country forced to decide between keeping officers on the beat or closing community police stations.

"But London’s Labour Mayor can’t simply hide behind these Conservative cuts. Mayor Khan’s top priority must be to keep Londoners safe and use every means to do that. With robbery, knife and gun crime on the increase this move is inexplicable and irresponsible."

  • Separately, Merton’s Conservative councillors have tabled a motion for tomorrow’s full borough council meeting urging the council to amend its proposed budget for 2018-22 to enable it to buy Wimbledon police station from the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) and then lease it back to them.

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February 6, 2018

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