Town hall calls for return of axed police stations in Bromley

By Joe Coughlan, Local Democracy Reporter

Bromley council has called on the Mayor of London to reopen police stations around the borough, claiming officers are relying on buses for their patrols.

The authority passed a motion at a meeting on Monday asking for more police bases and vehicles in the borough.

The motion, put forward by Conservative councillor Thomas Turrell, asked for the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) to provide funding for the Met to reopen bases in Penge, Crystal Palace and West Wickham.

It also asked for safer neighbourhood teams to have access to police vehicles, and claimed officers were currently depending on public buses for patrols.

Cllr Turrell said at the meeting: “Neighbourhood policing should be in the neighbourhood, not waiting for the bus.

“We want our officers to be serving their communities and be in their communities for as long as possible, but the base closures in 2018 have made that too difficult and simply left too many of our officers too far away from those communities.”

Chislehurst Matters councillor Alison Stammers put forward an amendment to the motion, asking for the closed police station in her ward to be included in the list of stations requested to be reopened. She added that the drop-in service in Chislehurst had also stopped 15 years ago.

Cllr Stammers said at the meeting: “It will save no end of officers’ time travelling by public transport or taking a ride on the minibus to get to our ward. That time would be so much better spent focusing on local crime and antisocial behaviour priorities.”

The Labour Group also put forward an amendment to the motion to ask for additional funding from the Home Office if the Met were not able to fund reopening the borough’s police bases.

Conservative councillor Michael Tickner said: “It’s good for the community to see more police offices opening as long as they are used for the right purposes.

“I don’t want to see our police officers hiding away in the new offices drinking tea. I would like to see them better motivated to get out there, being seen by the public, arresting people and act on the many crimes that are going on in our communities.”

The council voted to not carry the Labour Group amendment at the meeting and the authority agreed to pass the motion with the Chislehurst Matters amendment. The MOPAC was approached for comment, but had not responded at the time of publication.

Pictured top: Chislehurst among the area seeking reinstatement of closed police stations (Picture: Joe Coughlan/LDRS)

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