Met Police have not made the case for closing Redbridge front counters, says council leader

The Met Police have not yet made the case for closing any front counters in Redbridge police stations, according to the council leader.

The police are consulting with Redbridge Council on public access in the borough and are understood to be considering closing the front counters at Wanstead and Woodford police stations and reducing access to Barkingside police station to daytime hours only.

Ilford station would remain open to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Cllr Keith Prince said no final proposals have yet been made to the council but figures were provided on average use by the public of the stations.

He said: “They don’t actually say we’re going to close [the counters]. You’d have to read between the lines. They’re setting the scene.

“I’ve asked for far more up-to-date figures and data. “The authority will be providing our response to their inquiries.

“Based on the information they provided, I see no case to stop the front counter provision at any of our police stations.”

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Met commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe wants to open 200 new “access points” in London which Cllr Prince said could equate to six or seven in Redbridge.

These would be in public buildings, such as supermarkets, and would be open “for a few hours at different times of the week”, according to deputy leader Cllr Ian Bond on the Roding councillors blog.

Cllr Prince said: “We’ve asked for more information around demand which I don’t have.

“If there’s a need in Hainault, for example, what would be the point of putting it [an access point] elsewhere?”

Cllr Bond has already made an initial response to the police in which he said the case for closing Woodford’s counter on weekdays has not been made.

He said he would also expect to see new “local access points” in Woodford and Wanstead.

A public consultation is expected to be held in January.

Inquiries have been made with Redbridge police.