A community police base will be shut down due to ongoing cuts to the Metropolitan Police’s budget.

West Hendon Safer Neighbourhood Team’s (SNT) current base in Vivian Avenue, Hendon, will close by the end of July, the Met has confirmed.

Hundreds of people signed a petition against the closure of the site, fearing it could spark a rise in offending in an area that already has a higher crime rate than the rest of the borough.

But London-wide changes to community policing mean the SNT will move to a temporary location in Colindale while the Met searches for a new base in West Hendon.

Cllr Helene Richman, who has been campaigning to save the SNT, claimed the police had already been offered a new base in West Hendon free of charge.

Cllr Richman said: “Two rooms are being offered at Gadwall House on the West Hendon Estate.

“The rooms are being offered for nothing. This could be dealt with, and there could be another base in place this month. The local officers do not want to have to go to Colindale.

“We desperately need to have the SNT. The crime rate is too high and keeps growing. West Hendon is a place with its own problems, and frankly it is a no-brainer.”

The closure of sites used by dedicated ward officers aims to free up £10 million that can be used to keep overall police numbers above 30,000.

According to the Mayor of London’s office, the Met has had to make £600 million of savings since 2010 and must find a further £400 million by 2021.

Cllr Richman received a letter from the Mayor of London in response to her petition saying existing premises would not be closed until a suitable replacement had been found.

But a spokesperson for the Met’s North West Basic Command Unit said: “We can confirm that the Vivian Avenue base is set to close and that a date at the end of July 2019 has been set.

“The property was highlighted for closure under the review conducted by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime – Public Access and Engagement Strategy.

“Premises on their ward such as council buildings, libraries and schools are being considered as viable alternatives.

“The Vivian Avenue base is staffed by the local ward team, who will be temporarily moved to Colindale Police Station as no suitable venue has yet been located.

“Plans for officers to move into a premise on their ward are being discussed, such as Brent Cross Shopping Centre and the West Hendon Estate – being within the stipulated, 20-minute walking distance of their ward.”

Recorded crime in West Hendon has risen steadily over the past year, peaking at 329 offences in March before falling to 285 offences in May.

The crime rate in May (12 per 1,000 residents) was higher than the Barnet (7 per 1,000) and London (9 per 1,000) averages.

The Met provides opportunities for the public to meet police officers at community contact points each week.

It is also using more mobile technology that allows officers to work away from police stations, while online reporting of crime is reducing the need for face-to-face contact.

The Met spokesperson said any decision on the location of a new base would be passed on to the local community.

The Mayor of London’s office and the manager of West Hendon Estate were approached for comment.