Local police station could become part-time
Wimbledon's 24-hour police station is under threat after a leaked report shows nearly half the police stations in London now permanently manned would be cut to part-time or closed.
Each borough - apart from Westminster - would be left with one 24-hour police station as part of Metropolitan Police proposals to save £500m.
It means one of either Wimbledon or Mitcham police stations would no longer operate as a 24-hour station, but would be part-time instead. The report also proposes the Morden police office is sold off.
Sixty police stations in the capital would be closed, leaving 33 24-hour police stations operating in London. There would also be 33 part-time stations (a reduction from 52) and five volunteer stations (a reduction from 17). Westminster, which currently has six 24-hour stations, would see that number cut to two.
Merton's council leader, Stephen Alambritis, has already said he wants both stations to remain open and is keen to work with the police on exploring the use of the borough's buildings, such as the Civic Centre or libraries, for Safer Neighbourhood Offices.
The Met, which has already announced plans to close New Scotland Yard, needs to save £500m from its £3.6m budget to meet Government spending targets. The report detailing the proposals has been leaked to the Evening Standard newspaper.
It states there has been a 20 per cent fall in front counter visits over four years and the stations earmarked for closure are the least used in London.
Richard Tracey, Assembly Member for Merton and Wandsworth, said: "The Met Police are having to make savings following the Spending Review as a result of the grim economic state of the nation which the Coalition inherited in 2010.
"There has been much examination of the estates needs of the Met Police across London, but the most important thing to highlight is that 2000 more PCs will be coming on to our London streets including Merton and Wandsworth over the next year. Those extra police officers will be paid for by economies in the police estate and by lowering numbers of senior police officers who will be retiring and not being replaced."
London's Deputy Mayor, Stephen Greenhalgh, will be hosting a meeting to discuss crime strategy in Merton at the Civic Centre in Morden on February 26.
A spokesman said a decision will be taken in March.
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December 23, 2012