May 25 2013 Latest news:
Else Kvist, Reporter
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Newham borough commander Rob Jones has vowed to fight to keep Stratford Police Station open.
Chief Superintendent Jones’ was met with applause from the audience at a consultation meeting on plans by the London Mayor to axe two of Newham’s five police station as he said he would not let Stratford station close.
Boris Johnson’s Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Stephen Greenhalgh, was left looking confused at Stratford Old Town Hall last night when the Chief Supt insisted he would not let the station close.
Members of the audience also appeared baffled and were immediately seeking clarification.
Chief Supt Jones said: “I won’t let it happen. Stratford is without doubt one of the most changing crime areas. The footfall has increased by 48 million since the opening of Westfield shopping centre and behind it we now have a large Olympic legacy site. The station is part of the old Stratford village, close to schools and bus routes.”
Instead Chief Supt Jones suggested East Ham, where the current building is already being disposed off, could lose a station.
Mr Greenhalgh accepted they may need to look again at research into the numbers of people reporting crimes at Stratford Station. “This is what these consultation are for”, he said.
After the meeting Chief Supt Jones said he may accept an alternative to Stratford Police Station inside the Olympic Park but emphasized it had to be a proper base rather than the control room, which there are plans for police to use once the park re-opens.
North Woolwich Police Station has also been earmarked for closure under the plans to slash £500million from the Met’s £3.6bn budget over the next three years. It is understood police are looking at using a supermarket, such as Asda, as an outlet instead.
But vice chair of Newham’s Community Police Engagement Group, Chris Roffey, warned it would have to offer privacy for people to feel confident reporting crimes.
Under the cuts Plaistow police station will be kept while Forest Gate would become the only Newham station with a 24-hour front counter.