The Met Police have finally admitted what we all suspected; the front counter service at Wanstead Police Station is to close. In the first step towards closing the station entirely, from 1st April 2013 the front desk service will be withdrawn in order to reduce costs, but the station will remain operational.
Woodford Police Station will also have its front desk service withdrawn and Barkingside will only have a counter service during daylight hours. Ilford remains the only 24 hour operational station in the Borough.
Sadly, this will leave Redbridge – a Borough with 270,000 people – with just 1 fully operational police station. The story is much the same across London as the Met attempt to save £500 million from their annual budget. The plan is to leave just 136 police stations in a Capital city with a population over just over 8 million.
Ironically, once the front counter service is closed – in Wanstead at least – the Met are looking for a suitable place to base police officers for a few hours each day. This seems like a false economy as why not base the officers in a police station the Met already own, rather than rent a new space?
The Wanstead Society also understands an announcement will be made on 10th or 11th December 2012 as to which police stations will close fully while in January 2013 the Met will undertake a consultation on this process.
We remain committed to a fully operational police station that serves Wanstead, it’s just a shame that the Mayor of London – who decides the budget for policing in the capital – doesn’t.