Closure of town centre police station would save Met Police funds
Wimbledon police station is set to close as part of controversial cost-cutting plans which will raise nearly £7m in its sale and £500,000 in annual running costs.
The decision has been made after a review by the Metropolitan Police, which is facing £1bn worth of cuts. It will be moving the 24/7 front counter service to Mitcham, which will be refurbished and upgraded.
Merton council leader Stephen Alambritis is now calling for a continued police presence in Wimbledon despite the planned closure of the Queens Road building.
He said: “We are very disappointed at the decision to close Wimbledon Police Station. Wimbledon needs a continued police presence due to the night-time economy and I will be asking the Met how they plan to deliver policing in the town centre under these plans.
“We understand the difficult decisions the Met have to make when faced with government cuts of £1bn but we don’t think the safety of Wimbledon residents should be compromised.”
Steve Wallace, Merton Borough Commander, said: “This morning MOPAC announced the result of their engagement consultation. For us in Merton the impact is relatively significant. They have announced the planned sale of Wimbledon station to realise £6.75m and save £444,000 per annum running costs. However an important caveat is that this may take up to two years to go through.
“We will now start planning and discuss the implications and impact on all stakeholders – of course including our own staff.”
He said he would be actively looking for “hubs” in Wimbledon for officers to work from.
MOPAC said in a statement that plans to reduce the number of police front counters in London would save an additional £8 million – equivalent to the cost of 140 police constables.
The statement said: "The closing of a police station does not mean the withdrawal of policing from a community. It does mean the maximum possible support for frontline police officer numbers."
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November 2, 2017