Hundreds of people have signed a petition against the closure of a community police hub amid fears it could lead to a rise in crime.

West Hendon Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT), which is based at 20 Vivian Avenue, has been slated for closure due to ongoing cuts to the Metropolitan Police budget.

The hub has two dedicated police officers who work with the community and get extra support from officers in the wider area.

Conservative councillor for West Hendon Cllr Helene Richman collected more than 300 signatures in a petition against the proposed closure.

Cllr Richman warned shutting the hub down would leave people “unsupported and unprotected in the face of dangerously escalating crime in the area”.

She said: “There is huge concern, because there is serious crime like the knife crime but also lower level crime.

“There is anti-social behaviour, drinking, the constant burglaries and stealing – it is a really big issue.

“The closure of the SNT hub will mean there is no police contact point for miles.”

Figures from the Metropolitan Police show there were 250 reported crimes in West Hendon during February, with shoplifting and theft among the most common.

That works out as 11 crimes per 1,000 residents – higher than the rate for Barnet (7 crimes per 1,000) and London as a whole (8 crimes per 1,000).

Cllr Richman said she had contacted London Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden Andrew Dismore about the closure but claimed he had “not been particularly helpful”.

She said: “He was blaming the previous mayor (Boris Johnson), which is a bit rich considering this mayor has been in office for three years now.”

But Mr Dismore – who said it was “extremely disappointing to see the loss of neighbourhood police bases” – said he had sent Cllr Richman’s petition to the Mayor’s office and the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime.

He wrote to Cllr Richman suggesting she ask her Conservative MP to lobby the Government to restore lost funding.

Mr Dismore also suggested she ask Barnet Council to cover the cost of the base or provide a new base free of charge to the police.

He said: “The problem is the huge cuts the Government has imposed on the Met – you can’t cut 40 per cent of the budget and expect things to stay the same.

“Boris Johnson started the closures. We have a choice – do we want a building or a lot of police?

“What the mayor is trying to do is ensure we have the money to keep officer numbers above 30,000.”

Mr Dismore added that some councils in London had offered vacant buildings so the hubs could keep going – and Barnet could do the same.

A spokesperson for Barnet Council said: “The Met Police hasn’t requested any space from us to house the Hendon SNT and unfortunately we don’t currently have any buildings in the Hendon area that are likely to be vacant in the medium-to-long term.

“Should that change, however, we are always prepared to discuss how assets may be best be utilised.”

A spokesperson for the Mayor of London said: “Hendon has two dedicated ward officers (DWOs) – as per Sadiq’s commitment to double the number of DWOs per ward in comparison to the previous Mayor – equipped with mobile technology enabling them to work in the community and not just within traditional police buildings.

“Every week they hold a minimum of a one-hour community contact session for those members of the community preferring face-to-face contact, so opportunities to speak to officers won’t be affected by the closure of the building.”

The Metropolitan Police said there is currently no firm date for the closure of the SNT.