The Redbridge Conservative group has called for the re-opening of the front desk at Barkingside Police Station.

The front desk was closed in December 2017 by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime, who say that in-person reporting of crime has been in long-term decline.

Linda Huggett, leader of Redbridge Conservatives, said that the issue was “a major concern to residents”.

Ilford Recorder: Barkingside Police Station's front desk closed to the public in 2017Barkingside Police Station's front desk closed to the public in 2017 (Image: Redbridge Conservatives)

She said: "I have therefore written to the Mayor of London requesting that the front desk is re-opened in order to give residents the option of a face-to-face meeting with the police to report a crime."

On Sunday, September 19, the group held an action day in Ilford North, joined by Keith Prince, London assembly member for Havering and Redbridge, as well as Londonwide assembly member Andrew Boff.

The group claimed to have spoken to more than 850 members of the public about the issue on the day and have made it a manifesto commitment for the 2022 local elections.

According to the Mayor's Office, in 2016, eight per cent of crimes were reported at police front counters, down from 22pc ten years earlier; around 70pc were made via telephone.

A spokesperson for the Mayor of London said: “The mayor has delivered on his commitment to keep one front counter open 24 hours, seven days a week in every London borough and worked with the Met to ensure Londoners now have a wide range of options for contacting their police.

"This includes new telephone contact centres, a new website, social media and a strengthened dedicated police team in every ward.

“Sadiq’s top priority has always been to keep Londoners safe.

"Officer numbers are rising and, consequently, a review of the Met’s entire estate is underway in order to look at the long-term plans for police buildings and the potential impact from an increase in police officers.”

Earlier this month, Chingford and Woodford Green MP Iain Duncan Smith called for the re-introduction of a police base to South Woodford.