Hillingdon Council voices concerns about proposed police station closures

Hillingdon Council has written to London's Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime to raise grave concerns about proposals to close two of the three police stations in the borough.

Chief Executive Fran Beasley, writing on behalf of the council and its cabinet, sent a letter (download below) to Sophie Linden at the Mayor's Office for Policing And Crime (MOPAC) on 3 October in response to plans put forward in MOPAC's draft Public Access and Engagement Strategy -writes hillingdon.gov.uk.

The strategy, which is aimed at saving £400m from London's police service by 2021, proposes closing Uxbridge and Ruislip police stations and keeping a smaller police station in Hayes.

Local residents raised fears about the proposals at a recent public consultation on the strategy.

The letter expresses the strength of residents' concern and calls into question the proposed model of delivery. It also casts doubt on the viability of opening a front counter in Hayes.

Councillor Douglas Mills, Cabinet Member for Community, Commerce and Regeneration, said: "Reducing Hillingdon's police stations from three to one clearly won't work. We are the second largest borough in London, with a hugely diverse population and a challenging public transport network. Expecting all of our residents to use just one police counter in Hayes simply isn't practical, nor is it acceptable. For some of our residents it would be quicker to get to Scotland Yard than Hayes Police Station using public transport.

"While we fully understand the financial challenges facing the public sector, these proposals are in great danger of reversing much of the good work we've done over the years to reduce crime and the fear of crime, and it's imperative that MOPAC reconsiders its options."

The letter also highlights concerns about the wellbeing of local police officers, the apparent over-reliance on IT, the lack of time allowed for the consultation and the police service's previous difficulties in bringing about change.

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