‘Victory’ for Havering residents as Hornchurch police station remains open thanks to Havering Council.
The police station has been closed to the public since December 2017 and was identified for disposal in the Public Access Strategy.
After refusing to accept the London Mayor’s Office for Police and Crime (MOPAC) decision to close police access points in the south of the borough, Havering Council has successfully negotiated an agreement to acquire Hornchurch Police station, guaranteeing a local police presence.
Havering Council’s Chief Executive Andrew Blake Herbert told The Enquirer: “It is really important for us to secure a premises for the police to be based in the borough of our size, response times are very crucial, so having a building in the south of the borough as well as Romford main police station is really important for us as we go forwards.”
The deal between the Council, Metropolitan Police (MPS) and MOPAC was reached after Havering Council brought High Court action, challenging MOPAC’s decision to close Hornchurch Police Station, as well as many other police stations across London.
The London Mayor’s Strategy replaced community policing contact points and hubs with ‘community contact sessions’ of just one hour per ward per week.
The agreement means the Council will be able to acquire the freehold of the police station and grant a lease to the Metropolitan Police.
Residents will be able to access the police in the same way as they could prior to the closure of the police access point in the south of the borough.
The acquisition will be decided formally at the Council’s September Cabinet meeting.
Councillor Damian White, Leader of Havering Council, said: “We are delighted to have reached an agreement with MOPAC, following the Mayor’s appalling decision to strip Havering of a key police base in the south of the borough.
“Residents have told us that they want to see more police officers on the streets in their
neighbourhoods, and by stepping in and refusing to accept MOPAC’s short-sightedness, the Council has secured the future of the police station in Hornchurch.”
He added: “The outcome of the Mayor’s savage cuts to local policing would have meant residents in this part of Havering having to travel to Romford for their nearest police station.
“The result of our careful negotiations means we have protected a vital service for our residents. This is a great victory for the Council. We understand and value the importance of a physical police presence across the borough, and our actions clearly show that we will do everything in our power to ensure the safety and peace of mind of our residents.”
Havering Councillors gathered outside of Hornchurch police station to celebrate the victory, Andrew Boff GLA member and Tory London Mayor candidate was also at the event to add his support to the occasion.