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'Bobbies before buildings' - London mayor Boris Johnson plans to close Southgate Police Station and Winchmore Hill Police Station under Police and Crime Plan for London
Half of Enfield’s police stations are under threat in plans released yesterday by the Mayor of London.
Winchmore Hill Police Station in Green Lanes and Southgate Police Station in Chase Side could close as part of plans to save millions of pounds in running costs throughout the city.
If London Mayor Boris Johnson's draft police and crime plan for London is passed, Southgate police station, which is open during the day, would be sold to raise money, along with Winchmore Hill Police Station, which is run by volunteers.
Enfield Police Station in Baker Street would only be open during the day, meaning Edmonton Police Station in Fore Street would become the only police station in the borough open for 24 hours.
Labour assembly Member for Enfield and Haringey, Joanne McCartney, said: “This will make it harder for local people to report serious crimes and reduce the police's presence, especially in the west of the borough.”
She said the report is further evidence that the mayor and the Government are cutting “too far too fast”.
Mr Johnson plans to close almost 200 of the 497 buildings in London owned by the Metropolitan Police to save 30 per cent of their annual £203million running costs.
Despite criticism, the mayor has defended the plans, saying putting more officers on the street is key to driving down crime and boosting public confidence in the police.
He claimed across London, fewer than 50 crimes a night are reported at front counters in police stations.
As part of the proposals, the mayor intends to employ 609 police officers in Enfield by 2015 – 14 more than patrolled the borough in 2010.
He said: “In the current economic climate there is no denying that tough decisions will have to be made, but policing in the capital is changing and we must change with it by creating a police force that is ready to tackle the issues that matter most to Londoners.”
The Deputy Mayor for Policing, Stephen Greenhalgh, also believes the cost-cutting plans will provide London with a more effective police force.
He said: "The changes proposed by the mayor will give London the police force it needs for the 21st century and reconnect Londoners with the public service.
“By putting bobbies before buildings and being smarter about how we use budgets, we can not only create a police force to be proud of, but one that we can afford.”
Mr Greenhalgh will visit Enfield Civic Centre on Monday at 8pm with the Assistant Commissioner for Territorial Policing, Simon Byrne, to speak to people about how policing will change in the borough if the proposals are passed.
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