UPDATE - Borough commander says ‘no change to policing service’ in west of Redbridge as Wanstead station closure announced

Campaigners outside Wanstead police station

Campaigners outside Wanstead police station - Credit: Archant

Redbridge’s most senior police officer has said policing plans for the borough are “good” and mean more officers, despite the closure of Wanstead police station.

Following a consultation, the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime announced its model for the next three years today, which includes the closure of Wanstead police station in Spratt Hall Road and the Chadwell Heath safer neighbourhood base in Rose Lane, Little Heath.

Woodford police station in High Road, Woodford Green, will also lose its front counter and will only be open as a contact point to the public for three hours a week. Residents and councillors in the west of the borough have campaigned for months to keep front counters open at both Wanstead and Woodford stations.

Det Ch Supt Sue Williams said under the plan the number of officers in Redbridge will go up from 444 in 2011 to 530 in 2015 and there will be 68 more neighbourhood officers.

She said: “I think the plan is good.

“I think with the new policing model, we’re going to have more people.

“We’re putting safer neighbourhood teams (SNT) on different times of the day.

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“There will be more later shifts, so they will be about when people need to see them.”

A safer neighbourhood police base in Fencepiece Road, Barkingside, will be retained.

And negotiations are ongoing between the police and Vision Redbridge, the council’s leisure and culture arm, to use Wanstead library in Spratt Hall Road, Wanstead as a contact point.

The sticking point could be the opening hours, because the Met is calling for standardised times for contact points across London.

Woodford station will act as a contact point between 7pm and 8pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays and between 2pm and 3pm on Saturdays.

Mrs Williams said: “We have earmarked Wanstead library, but because it’s standardised times we will have to make sure it’s suitable.

“The other contact point we will find somewhere in the south of the borough.”

The Loxford polyclinic in Ilford Lane, Ilford, had been put forward as a contact point but was unlikely to be used, said Mrs Williams, because the opening times would not work.

Safer neighbourhood officers will now be based in Ilford police station, which will remain open to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week; Barkingside police station, which will have a front counter open to the public for around 60 hours a week; Woodford police station; the Fencepiece Road base and the Chadwell Heath traffic garage.

Mrs Williams said it was “disappointing” the former Chadwell Heath SNT base will close.

But she said: “The traffic garage is about a quarter of a mile up the road. It will house the two or three safer neighbourhood teams. It’s a negligible impact on them.”

Ward teams will be made up of one Pc and one PCSO with other neighbourhood officers pooled in “neighbourhood clusters” around the borough.

Wanstead officers could use computer facilities at Snaresbrook Crown Court in Hollybush Hill, Mrs Williams said.