The borough’s top cop has sought to play down fears more than half the police stations in Wandsworth could close.

A report leaked by the Evening Standard yesterday revealed The Met Police is considering closing three police stations, Battersea, Tooting and Putney, and reducing opening hours at Wandsworth police station.

However Borough Commander Chief Superintendent David Chinchen said the sites would still be manned by officers but not be open to the public.

He said: “This is not about the closure of police stations. “We are proposing that the hours of service at Lavender Hill Police Station should be extended to 24 hours a day and that the front counter at Wandsworth Police Station should staffed for 40 hours per week.

“The front counters at Battersea, Tooting and Putney high street would close but officers will continue to be deployed at each of those sites and patrol from them each day.”

He pointed to the changing way the public contact the police to report crime as a motive behind such a move.

He said: “The world has moved on somewhat since we first established police stations, police boxes (The 'Doctor Who' Tardis) and the 999 system to ensure that people could get the help they needed when they needed it.

“The reality is that the number of people visiting police stations has dropped significantly as they can now contact us in many other ways.

“We have undertaken to send an officer to anyone who reports a crime and contact can be made with local officers through 101 or dedicated numbers and e-mail addresses for Safer Neighbourhood Teams.

“In addition, we have continued to develop the practice of conducting regular surgeries and meetings that are publicised on the website.

“Next year we are enhancing this element of public access by designating seven Public Contact Points.”

A total of 60 stations in the capital are earmarked for closure to the public, with all London boroughs being manned by only one 24 hour station, apart from Westminster.

The plans are part of Met plans to save £500m from its annual budget to meet Government spending targets.

Consultation on any proposed changes is set to open next year and a public meeting about the future of policing in Wandsworth will be held on February 26, 8pm at The Civic Suite, Wandsworth Town Hall.