Uxbridge or Hayes police station? Decision looms on which to be axed

Uxbridge police station - Google Maps Uxbridge police station - Google Maps

A decision on the sale of the Uxbridge police station building is looming, with only days left for residents to make their opinion count.

The Uxbridge station is slated for sale, with the all day front counter for reporting crimes on an official list for the chop.

The Metropolitan Police Service plans to move the existing 24/7 front counter at Uxbridge to Hayes - which is currently a daytime facility. This is despite the fact that according to the police's own statistics, shown in the consultation document, Uxbridge has an average of 2.9 crimes reported daily, compared to 1.3 in Hayes.

front counter closures.jpg

Residents have been encouraged to have their say and tell the Metropolitan Police Service what they think. The deadline to respond to the consultation is 5.30pm on Friday 6 October.

The Uxbridge plans are part of the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime and Metropolitan Police Service Public Access and Engagement Strategy. The move comes as the force has slashed costs by £600 million in recent years and now faces further cutbacks of at least £400 million.

Hillingdon residents were given a chance to quiz Hillingdon Borough Commander Chief Supt Colin Wingrove about the proposals at a public event last month.

David Brough, Chairman, Hayes Town Partnership, attended the meeting.

He said: “Members of the audience were extremely critical of the quality of the presentation made and the quality of the argument supporting the closure of Uxbridge in particular. It was obvious to all that the real calculation was that selling the Uxbridge building will raise more money and there was much criticism that Hayes Police Station is not very well served by public transport from the north of the Borough and there is next to no public parking nearby.

“Personally I have doubts about how useful the public counter at Hayes is to residents and businesses in Hayes Town Centre because of its distant location. For those who do have to visit a Police Station it would be just as easy getting to Uxbridge. In the question and answer session I raised the very poor state of the Hayes building and asked if the calculations include the costs of refurbishing it to a standard fit for officers to work in. The answer was not clear.”

Regarding other proposals for 'Dedicated Ward Officer Hubs' where Safer Neighbourhood Officers will be based, Mr Brough said: “We tried to get something similar to this at High Point Village but the Met Police could not find the money to kit it out. I cannot help thinking that people in Hayes Town would be better served by having one of these and retaining Uxbridge as the main station for the Borough.”

crimes at counters.jpg

Also planned to close in Hillingdon are these buildings:

Northwood police office - a police Station/Annex - with no public access
Station/annex - with no public access at Ruislip Police Station
Heathrow Police Car Pound In Hillingdon
SN Base Colham House, Hillingdon, unit 1 ground floor part

Uxbridge was one of three custodial suites to close already, with three more across London to shut.

The consultation document stated that “falling detainee numbers have led to underutilisation of many suites – which have therefore become inefficient to run.”

It said: “This, aligned with significant challenges in recruitment and retention of civilian custody staff, has led to proposals for the
custody estate to be reduced to 26 suites and 5 contingency suites.” 

 

Another key element of the changes is that a Telephone & Digital Investigation Unit, based in West London, launched on 4 September.

The police report stated: “As well as reporting crimes via the telephone, we also want to allow people to engage more actively with the police during the course of an investigation on the phone. In simple cases, where the victim is happy with the approach, this is much more convenient for the victim and saves valuable officer time.

To give your views on the proposals visit www.
London.gov.uk/public-access or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or write to:
Public Access Consultation
MOPAC
City Hall
The Queen’s Walk
London
SE1 2AA

Responses will be received until 5.30pm on 6 October 2017.

The Metropolitan Police Service is asking these questions in the consultation:

1. Do you agree that it is right that the MPS improves its online offer to the public?
2. Do any partners or other community members have suggestions for possible
suitable locations for new Dedicated Ward Officer hubs?
3. Is it right to replace Contact Points with more flexible Community Contact
Sessions designed to free up officer time and meet the needs of individual
communities across London? How could they best be run in your area to meet
the needs of your community?
4. Do you agree that it is right that the Metropolitan Police Service prioritise police
officers over poorly-used front counters?
5. In the five cases set out in this document, do you agree that it is right to swap
which front counter will remain open in order to maximise savings and receipts?
6. Are there any front counters which should be retained, on the basis of demand,
where the impact on budgets, savings and receipts can be limited?
7. Should we consider low-cost alternatives to front counters for communities over
45 minutes from their nearest front counter? What options should we consider?
8. How can we ensure that hard to reach communities are identified and their
voices actively sought on London-wide and Borough-level policing issues?
9. How can MOPAC better enable local communities to be more aware of,
and involved, in the work of the local Independent Advisory Groups, Safer
Neighbourhood Boards, Independent Custody Visiting and Community
Monitoring Groups?
10.How can the Metropolitan Police’s community engagement complement and
work more closely with the public engagement by local authorities?

11. What type of information should be shared by the police to help communities
feel informed about policing and crime in their area?
12.What type of information should be shared by the police to help communities
protect themselves from crime and anti-social behavior?
13.By what delivery method should this information be shared? Are there new
digital or innovative methods that should be trialled?
14.How should the police reassure the public about crime trends and be a trusted
source of facts, particularly on social media?
15.How can communities be reassured about real-time events or trends in their
area?
16.How can we empower local citizens to influence Borough and Ward-level
policing? How can this be achieved digitally or through other virtual means, so it
is not just through physical attendance at Community Contact Sessions?
17.What tools or training do local citizens need to feel empowered to assist and
work with the police to reduce crime or anti-social behaviour in their area?

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