A local MP is battling to save the last police base in her constituency from being sold off by City Hall.

Chipping Barnet MP Theresa Villiers has urged residents to back her campaign to save Barnet Police Station, claiming its closure “will seriously reduce police presence and visibility”.

City Hall claims the sale of the station – which was closed to the public in 2017 but remained in use by safer neighbourhoods teams – will help protect officer numbers.

It was part of a series of closures approved by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan to save £10 million a year and keep overall police numbers above 30,000.

But the Conservative MP accused the mayor of not listening to local people and has launched a petition calling for a U-turn on the sale.

She said: “It is appalling that the mayor has not listened to local people in Barnet. We need our police station. The loss of the front counter was bad enough. If the mayor goes ahead and sells the building, then there will be no base in this part of Barnet from which our local police can operate. They will all have to come from miles away in Colindale. That will seriously reduce police presence and visibility.

“I will continue the fight to save Barnet Police Station. It is not acceptable for people to have to make a complicated journey to Colindale if they want to report a crime in person. Even worse is the prospect of losing the last remaining building in my constituency from which police officers can operate.”

When the station closures were announced in 2017, City Hall pointed out that the Metropolitan Police had been forced to make £600m of savings between 2010 and 2015 following a 20 per cent cut to the national policing budget.

It added that a further £400 million in savings needed to be found by 2021 and warned officer numbers could fall below 27,500 unless the government halted its funding cuts.

A spokesperson for the Mayor of London said: “The decision to sell a number of police stations, including Barnet, that have been closed to the public since 2017, is to protect officer numbers as much as possible and to prioritise tackling violence. The mayor’s top priority has always been to keep Londoners safe, and it is right that frontline policing is being prioritised over buildings that are no longer needed nor fit for purpose.

“Today, there is a 24-hour police front counter in every London borough, alongside telephone contact centres, a new website, social media and a strengthened dedicated police team in every ward in the city to ensure Londoners have a wide range of options for contacting their police.

“Thanks to the record levels of City Hall investment in the Met and the Government’s partial reversal of cuts, officer numbers are rising. Consequently, a review of the Met’s entire estate is underway in order to look at the long-term plans for police stations and the potential impact from an increase in police officers.”

The petition to save Barnet Police Station is available at theresavilliers.co.uk/save-barnet-police-station