Merton Council leader in plea for ‘adequate’ Met Police funding to save Wimbledon station

THE leader of Merton Council has called on Home Secretary Amber Rudd to rethink the Met Police budget after Wimbledon police station was threatened with closure.

Stephen Alambritis, a Labour councillor who has held his position since 2010, believes Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is being pressured by ongoing austerity measures.

He said: “The cuts are coming through thick and fast for the Met Police which is forcing the mayor of London to sit down and think about making savings.

“The solution to all this is for the home secretary and the local government to adequately fund the Met Police so the mayor of London isn’t forced to make difficult decisions.”

Cllr Alambritis’ comments come in light of Merton Council’s decision to contest the proposal to merge Wimbledon police station with Mitcham.

Last week the council voted in favour of a motion to write to both Ms Rudd and Mr Khan in an effort to make them re-evaluate their decision.

Cllr Alambritis said he has discouraged any move that would lead to detrimental implications for Merton.

“There is definitely a case for both stations to stay open – we will not be divided as a borough,” he said.

In a study conducted throughout May 2017, Wimbledon police station recorded 2.6 reported crimes per day on average, in comparison to 0.7 for Mitcham.

Responding to this, Cllr Alambritis speculated that the motivations behind Wimbledon being targeted over Mitcham were due to the desirability of real estate in the area.

“Wimbledon is obviously more valuable,” he said.

“You could argue that they allowed Mitcham to stay because it is less valuable in terms of land.

“At this moment in time, Mitcham police station is not in any danger as far as we know.”

The community has also responded, with a petition consisting of more than 3,000 signatures in support of keeping Wimbledon police station open.

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