Police station closure plans cause concerns
5:00am Sunday 17th February 2013 in News
Crime prevention groups, and business owners have expressed fears over planned police station closures.
Plans released by the Met Police last month are set to create a 75 square mile area covering eight London boroughs across south London without a station open to the public at night.
The front desk at 100-year-old Tooting Police Station is earmarked for complete closure as is Putney and Battersea Bridge Station, while Wandsworth would be downgraded to day-time alone.
Lavender Hill would be the sole 24-hour station in the borough.
Pravin Pattni, owner of Minar Jewellers, in Upper Tooting Road, is also chairman of the National Association of Goldsmiths and helped launch a scheme targeting trade in stolen gold in January.
He said: "Police station closures means people won't be able to access that when they want.
"People are living much busier lives than they were, the ability to report crime is quite an important aspect. I believe something should remain open as before for the general public."
The Battersea Crime Prevention Panel said City Hall and New Scotland Yard were growing increasingly remote from local demands and needs.
A spokesman said: "Our Borough Commanders have, in the past, successfully introduced Local Neighbourhood Policing in Wandsworth, but this concept appears to be constantly changed and massaged to the detriment of those trying to implement it.
"Our basic concern is the lack of communication and understanding between senior policy and decision makers at City Hall and New Scotland Yard, and our community and what appears to be a gradual degradation in response to emergencies."
Crime figures published by the police last year reveal 3,602 victims of crime in Wandsworth would be unable to report it to their nearest police station if closures get the green-light.
In Tooting an average of 854 crimes took place per month in 2012 within half a mile of the threatened station, located in Mitcham Lane, Tooting.
On average there were 1,211 crimes committed per month last year within half a mile of the Lavender Hill Station.
There was an average of 675 crimes committed within half a mile of Wandsworth Police Station and in Putney there were 533 victims of crime on average per month.