Police station closures 'will not leave black hole in Barnet', claim senior figures during Police and Crime Plan consultation

First published in News Times Series: Photograph of the Author by

“We will come to you” was the message from senior police figures at a public consultation on the closure of Barnet stations this evening.

The Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) is proposing to shut Barnet and Whetstone stations and reduce opening hours at Golders Green under its policing plan for the next four years.

Deputy Mayor Stephen Greenhalgh and assistant police commissioner Simon Byrne held a one-hour consultation at Hendon Town Hall into their draft Police and Crime Plan, which aims to save the Met £500million by 2015.

Less than 100 people turned out to hear the future of the borough’s policing, which includes the gradual deployment of more police officers, and fewer PCSOs, in the coming years.

Following a short presentation by Mr Greenhalgh, a panel that included council leader Richard Cornelius and Barnet’s borough commander Adrian Usher took questions from the floor.

MOPAC says more people than ever before contact their police force over the phone and claims the demand for police stations is dramatically decreasing.

Assistant commissioner Byrne explained that he wanted the force to make best use of its resources by closing rarely used police stations and putting more officers on the beat.

He said: “The whole notion of what we want going forward is that we come to you. Why see you at a police station when we can see you in your place of work or at home? I’m convinced we’re going in the right direction.”

Where closures do occur, safer neighbourhood team contact points will be set up and deputy mayor Mr Greenhalgh said there must be “no black holes” in the capital where stations are closed.

He said: “This is about finding better ways for people to interact with the police. We have had decades of declining contact and this is an opportunity to bring those connections back.”

Borough commander Adrian Usher added that, despite the closures leaving Barnet with just one full time station, he welcomed the plan.

He said: “This is good news for Barnet. We’re going to have more officers for Barnet and that is a good thing.”

Comments (4)

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11:00pm Mon 14 Jan 13

Mike NW7 says...

Is Chris Hewitt the Barnet Bugle or Matthew Offord's PR man? This account of the meeting wouldn't be out of place in the Singapore Straits Times singing the praises of the Peoples Action Party as it munificently brings another measure into play that erodes the quality of our lives eh?
Is Chris Hewitt the Barnet Bugle or Matthew Offord's PR man? This account of the meeting wouldn't be out of place in the Singapore Straits Times singing the praises of the Peoples Action Party as it munificently brings another measure into play that erodes the quality of our lives eh? Mike NW7
  • Score: 0

6:34pm Tue 15 Jan 13

Mrs Angry, Broken Barnet blog says...

Have to agree: this report and the previous one do not represent the meeting fairly, in my opinion - check my blog for a full description. Less than a hundred people: pretty good for a snowy evening, and for a meeting which was not even mentioned on the council website, let alone publicised elsewhere. The questions were all critical, and challenging, not supportive.
Have to agree: this report and the previous one do not represent the meeting fairly, in my opinion - check my blog for a full description. Less than a hundred people: pretty good for a snowy evening, and for a meeting which was not even mentioned on the council website, let alone publicised elsewhere. The questions were all critical, and challenging, not supportive. Mrs Angry, Broken Barnet blog
  • Score: 0

9:38pm Fri 18 Jan 13

winners2015 says...

Why wasn't the questions and comments made by GLA member Andrew Dismore and the public reported in this news item? That would give a better idea of the arguments to the readers.
Why wasn't the questions and comments made by GLA member Andrew Dismore and the public reported in this news item? That would give a better idea of the arguments to the readers. winners2015
  • Score: 0

6:56pm Sat 19 Jan 13

Gerardthebee says...

What is going on? A police station makes people feel safe, close the one at Whetstone but Barnet must be left open. If you live in East Barnet and have to go to Colindale by public transport it will take ages. Are we going to have a guarantee response time.
What is going on? A police station makes people feel safe, close the one at Whetstone but Barnet must be left open. If you live in East Barnet and have to go to Colindale by public transport it will take ages. Are we going to have a guarantee response time. Gerardthebee
  • Score: 0

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