Golders Green and Whetstone police stations will be shut under a revised version of the Mayor of London’s policing plans published today.
The Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) has revealed the station closures in Finchley Road and High Road will be rolled out as part of Boris Johnson’s aim to save £500million by 2015.
Barnet Police Station, which was initially earmarked for closure, will remain open.
Head of operations for Barnet Borough Police, Superintendent Neil Seabridge, told the Times Series the closures will not affect people’s ability to contact police quickly and easily.
He said: “I don’t see it as an operational problem. I understand people’s sense of safety in having a police station nearby but the reality is they’re not utilised that well by people.
“We have put in measures where people can still make contact with us – we’ve done this by increases in the number of officers in Safer Neighbourhood policing and the availability of alternative methods to contact us either online, or email as well as contact points to be opened up at specific times.
“Our aim is to have at least one sergeant and seven constables per ward.”
There will be four contact points across the borough where people can meet police officers face-to-face at set times.
There will be contact points in Golders Green, East Finchley, Brunswick Park and Cat Hill with a possible fifth being set up in Edgware.
A poll commissioned by MOPAC as part of the consultation showed eight in 10 Londoners agreed maintaining officer numbers and keeping police on the streets should be prioritised above keeping police buildings open.
Supt Seabridge said: “I want to reassure the community that the police service is intending to be more approachable and contactable, not less."
But Labour assembly member for Barnet, Andrew Dismore, says the changes do not bode well for the capital's police service. He said: "I think it's going to create a lot of problems. The contact points are woefully inadequate - just a couple of hours during the week and at the weekend.
"There's no doubt people are prepared to use the phone and the internet more, but the fact remains that vulnerable people in particular are not confident in using the internet.
"They want to have the traditional police station to respond to and take their problems to and they're not going to have that anymore."