Petition launched to save Hornchurch station
A PETITION has been launched to save Hornchurch Police Station after it emerged that the Met could close it to save money.
Havering councillor Barbara Matthews said it would be "crazy" to lose the Station Lane premises, which would leave no face-to-face counter service in the town.
She said anyone wishing to visit a police station would instead have to go to Romford, where there are no parking facilities for able-bodied or disabled drivers.
Since 1965, five police stations have been closed, leaving Hornchurch as the only operational police station in the southern half of Havering.
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Councillor Matthews also pointed out that Hornchurch has custody cells which are used when the cells at Romford Police Station are full.
She said: "If Hornchurch goes it will leave the whole of the southern half of Havering without a police station.
"That is crazy."
A letter sent to Cllr Matthews on behalf of the Metropolitan Police commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe said: "The MPS is reviewing the whole property estate to ensure that we are making best use of it and identifying efficiency savings that can be reinvested in operational policing.
"Recent investment into Havering borough has included the provision of a purpose-built patrol base and various safer neighbourhood teams' bases.
"As a part of this programme of investment, those buildings surplus to operational needs have been released.
"To date, no formal decision has been made concerning the future of Hornchurch police station.
"However we are reviewing it in the light of the operational policing requirements of the borough and across the capital."
Cllr Matthews said: "We all know that by the time these things eventually go public the decision has been made.
"We want to get in there first to sway the Met's mind.
"We want people to get behind us."
Cllr Matthews is asking residents to raise their concerns by e-mailing email@example.com or by writing to the Metropolitan Police commissioner, New Scotland Yard, 10, Broadway London SW1H 0BG.
An online petition at www.gopetition.com/petitions/save-hornchurch-police-station is also available for people to register their concerns.
A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police Service was unavailable for comment as the Gazette went to press.