June 18 2013 Latest news:
Alistair Kleebauer, Senior reporter
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
The public will now be consulted on the future of Woodford Green and Wanstead police stations despite previous contradictory statements from the Met Police.
Stephen Greenhalgh, London’s deputy mayor for policing and crime, told a London Assembly meeting on Thursday that there will be formal consultation once “firm proposals” on police buildings are made.
Supt Stewart Hill, Redbridge’s deputy borough commander, told a public meeting on September 14 opposing the closure of Wanstead police station that there would be “engagement” with the public but not a consultation.
Both Woodford station, in High Road, and Wanstead station, in Spratt Hall Road, along with the Chadwell Heath police base, are considered under threat of closure.
The Met Police are reviewing their building stock to contribute towards £500m of savings.
Roger Evans, the London Assembly member for Havering and Redbridge, welcomed the news at an area two committee meeting themed around public safety in Woodford Green last night.
He said: “Two weeks ago it looked like we weren’t going to be asked.”
Two criteria which could favour retaining the Wanstead and Woodford stations – response times and public access – will be “key measures”, according to Mr Evans.
He said: “If you just provide resources on the amount of crime, you find all the resources end up in central London.
“Redbridge is a large borough and a key part of the Met plan needs to be response times.”
Mr Greenhalgh has also committed to retaining front counters in areas where police stations close, said Mr Evans.
Both Wanstead and Woodford stations have front counters.
Mr Evans said: “It doesn’t mean there will be a new building, it could be a shop front.
“But there will be some kind of access.”
The Met will make recommendations to the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime, which will then produce a draft strategy, due this month.
Cllr Ian Bond told the meeting: “I think the true situation is we’re facing the closure of one station or both.”
Council leader Keith Prince reiterated a pledge, made at the Wanstead meeting, to provide a base for safer neighbourhood teams if the Met doesn’t.
Police have released a CCTV image of a man they want to speak to in connection with a sexual assault on a 25-year-old woman from Wanstead.