Front counter to be shut to cut budget and "modernise" service
Hammersmith and Fulham Police are proposing to cut public access to local police stations by closing the front counter at Shepherd's Bush station and reducing hours of opening at Fulham Police Station, in order to reduce the annual budget and "modernise" services.
MP Andy Slaughter has questioned the Home Secretary in the House of Commons about these proposed cuts to police services in Hammersmith and Fulham.
At Home Office Questions on Tuesday, the MP said: " The Mayor of London has cut 3,500 police officers and police community support officers in the last two years.
"The Metropolitan Police is getting rid of borough commanders and neighbourhood sergeants, and closing 65 police stations to the public across London, including Shepherd’s Bush in my constituency and South Norwood in Croydon North,
"Does the Home Secretary think that will make the public in London feel safer or less safe?"
You can read his question and Home Secretary Teresa May's reply in context here.
Mr Slaughter's question came in response to a letter from Borough Commander Lucy D'Orsi, asking for views from "key Borough stakeholders".
The letter says that to achieve a reduction in the Metropolitan Police Service budget of £514 million by 2015, the MPS is committed to achieving this whilst enhancing the visibility of frontline officers, reducing crime and detecting offenders who commit crime.
The letter goes on: " One of the functions that warranted officers have been deployed to, on a daily basis, is front counters at Shepherd's Bush Green, Hammersmith and Fulham Police Stations.
" This has been the case for many years despite the fact that technology, ward surgeries, Social Media (Twitter/Facebook) and 101 has enhanced and altered the way communities and victims access policing services.
" Front counters are part of the MPS and Borough’s public access strategy but obviously they are only one part of it with the web, SNT’s and social media being some of the other strands. Currently, Fulham and Hammersmith Police Station are open 24 hours and Shepherd's Bush Green is open from 7am to 10pm.
" The demand for front counter policing services at all of these locations is very low but to staff them requires eight Police Officers a day. Occasionally that reduces if we have civilian staff completing the function.
" The MPS and therefore the Borough must change the way it delivers its services to modernise, become more responsive and put the public at the heart of what it does. With this in mind below is a proposal around front counters locally as follows:
· Hammersmith Police Station – remain 24h hours.
Currently this has the highest footfall and is located within the centre of the Borough.
· Fulham Police Station – reduced opening hours.
· Shepherds Bush Green - close.
The letter goes on to suggest that police should instead have new public contact points away from stations, in locations such as the town hall, supermarkets and libraries. It concludes:"At this stage we are not intending to close Fulham or Shepherd's Bush Police Station and operational officers will still operate out of both locations."
Andy Slaughter has also written to the Borough Commander in response to her letter, expressing his "dismay". You can read his response here.
November 21, 2012