Met Commissioner says Croydon police station closures are not set in stone
2:00pm Friday 25th January 2013 in Police Station Closures
Croydon could still have a police station front counter in each of its constituencies under plans to reduce police station numbers, according to the Met's top cop.
Under proposals put forward by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime, the town would lose all but one of its front counters, with some police station buildings being sold off.
Croydon police station would be the only 24 hour station remaining, with South Norwood, Kenley, Purley, Addington and Norbury all losing their front counters.
But speaking at a public meeting at Croydon College on Wednesday evening, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe said there was still a chance for some of the stations to remain.
He said: “It probably won’t be six, it will be about two or three. It looks like you have got a north, a central and a south.
“We will look to get something that recognises that and reassures people.”
The commisioner moved to address questions over whether 117 extra officers promised under the plans actually were only replacing police officer numbers that had already been cut in recent years.
The Commissioner said there were more than 70 officers in Croydon on restricted duty, meaning they cannot go on response calls and similar duties.
He said some of this was due to ill health and added they are trying to rectify the situation. The Commissioner recognised that the number of officers on restricted duty posed a challenge for Superintendent Rob Atkin’s team.
Commissioner Hogan-Howe also stressed that he thought Croydon would be getting a good deal by having an extra 117 officers.
He thought it was a genuine increase and as a result it would mean there would be more public engagement from officers under the new plans.
Patrick Ratnaraja, of Selsdon, asked the commissioner why stations were being earmarked for closure when crime was on the increase. The met police chief said it was the best option available.
He said: “It isn’t because we want to, it is because we have to. We have to find a lot of savings in the next few years.
“There is a proposal to reduce the number of stations in Croydon, but I would stress that they are proposals at the moment.”
The commissioner added: “If we don’t lose the buildings we will have to lose the people. I don’t want to lose any more officers so we have to compromise a bit.
“People on the whole don’t come to our police stations. The public are contacting us by phone a lot more. We are going to people now.”