Campaign victory as 6 Redbridge police teams told they will not relocate

The borough’s police chief has told residents that the safer neighbourhoods teams (SNTs) covering South Woodford, Woodford Green and Wanstead will not be relocated.

More than 1,000 people signed a petition against proposals to move six SNTs to Barkingside police station following a reduction in the number of sergeants in the borough from 21 to 14.

The residents raised fears about the impact on public safety, communication, anti-social behaviour and the time it would take officers to cycle to their wards.

The borough commander, Det Ch Supt Sue Williams, responded on Thursday with a statement saying she had agreed to keep the teams in the west of the borough and was looking for suitable accommodation for them.

This cleared up confusion at an area committee two meeting last week in which Chief Insp Mick Forbes told councillors and residents that plans for a relocation were still in the pipeline.

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Part of Mrs Williams’ statement reads: “Having met with the local councillors and discussed their concerns regarding the bases of the SNTs, I agreed to look for a base that could house teams from Woodford and Wanstead in the west of the borough.

“I will not be moving those teams until a suitable accommodation has been explored. I am currently pursuing this with the local authority and my property services department.”

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Mrs Williams adds: “Should any SNT be moved to a new base, they will still retain responsibility for their ward and will endeavour to be on that ward for most of their tour of duty.”

She said she had no updates on the Met Police’s position regarding long-term plans for Woodford and Wanstead police stations.

Reacting to the statement, Cllr Paul Canal said: “I am confident there is sufficient will between the Metropolitan Police and Redbridge Council to find suitable long-term accomodation for the SNTs should Woodford police station close.”

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