Merton Council has made clear its disappointment with the decision to close Wimbledon Police Station as a result of £1bn in government cuts to the Metropolitan Police. The council leader has already written to the Secretary of State asking for fair funding for London’s police and is now calling for a continued police presence in Wimbledon despite the closure.
Following the Met’s announcement today that it will be moving the 24/7 service to Mitcham, which will be refurbished and upgraded, the council has expressed its concern that there will be no 24/7 police station in Wimbledon from December.
Leader of Merton Council Councillor Stephen Alambritis wrote to Home Secretary Amber Rudd in October, calling for both Wimbledon and Mitcham Police Stations to remain open and for an end to government cuts to police budgets.
Cllr Alambritis also wrote to Mayor of London Sadiq Khan highlighting how important Wimbledon Police Station is to the town centre, which has a strong night-time economy where a police presence is of huge benefit to the local community and businesses.
Cllr Stephen Alambritis said: “We are very disappointed at the decision to close Wimbledon Police Station. Wimbledon needs a continued police presence due to the night-time economy and I will be asking the Met how they plan to deliver policing in the town centre under these plans. We understand the difficult decisions the Met have to make when faced with government cuts of £1bn but we don’t think the safety of Wimbledon residents should be compromised.”
At full council on 13 September 2017, members noted that the Metropolitan Police has already had to make £600m of cuts as part of the governments’ austerity agenda and faces £400m more in cuts up until 2021. The council also recognised the Mayor of London’s condemnation of the failure to properly resource policing in the capital and the concern raised by Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick that London’s police service is particularly stretched in light of terror attacks.
At full council on 13 September 2017, Merton Council resolved to:
- Write to the Home Secretary making clear that the residents in Merton expect their police services to be properly resourced and to demand that she allocate funding for the Metropolitan Police to reflect the increased strain the capital is under
- Write to the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, making clear the London Borough of Merton’s complete opposition to any proposed police station closures in Merton and asking him to reconsider any plans to sell off Wimbledon or Mitcham’s police station
- Encourage as many residents, residents’ associations and local community groups as possible to respond directly to the Mayor’s consultation document before the deadline of 6 October 2017 and to write to the Home Secretary demanding adequate resources for the Metropolitan Police.