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Closing police front counters will heap pressure on south of Ilford - Labour group leader

09:21 28 January 2013

“One in four rapes is reported in a police station, are you going to get that in the reception of Tesco?” was the response of one councillor to police station front counter closures.

The Mayor’s Office for Police and Crime has released draft proposals which include the front counters at two police stations closing and another having its hours reduced.

Speaking at the area six committee meeting in Redbridge Central Library, Clements Road, Ilford on Wednesday, Labour leader Cllr Jas Athwal said if these proposals go ahead additional pressure on resources will be created on the south of Ilford.

Under proposals people will be able to report crimes in public buildings such as supermarkets, post offices and libraries.

Cllr Athwal said: “One in four rapes are reported in a police station, are you going to get that in the reception of Tesco?

“Potentially victims will just walk away and say I’m not going through the humiliation of going into a reception area. We need police stations.”

Wanstead station, Spratt Hall Road, and Woodford station in High Road, Woodford Green are set to lose their front counters.

Cllr Athwal said: “I think the problem we are going to have is Ilford police station being over run with the others closing, there will be a knock on effect. “People will not be content with a desk in a library.”

On February 11 a one-hour consolation will take place at Redbridge Town Hall, High Road, Ilford with London deputy mayor for policing Stephen Greenhalgh and the Met’s assistant commissioner Simon Byrne.

“Everyone needs to get behind this and make your voices heard,” Cllr Athwal added. “We are serious about the whole borough, if you keep quiet one day they will come for you as well, we need to make our voices heard.”

He said that reductions in police funding mean the police force is now more reactionary.

“Before people on their beat could stop a crime from happening as they knew where the trouble was going to be and now 99 per cent of the time it’s in response to crime.”

The consultation period will last until March 6.

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