Wimbledon Police station given new hope

By Jordan Camp
December 7 2019, 16.20

Scotland Yard has confirmed it will rethink its strategy for the future of Wimbledon Police Station.

Scotland Yard has confirmed it will rethink its strategy for the future of Wimbledon Police Station.

In 2018, the Mayor of London proposed to close 37 of the 73 police stations across London, a decision met with widespread criticism due to the increase in crime across the capital.

Earlier this year, MP for Wimbledon, Stephen Hammond, put forward a plan to try and persuade the Mayor to rewrite the consultation and stop the closure of Wimbledon Police Station and Mr Hammond was pleased to see the plan has led to a rethink.

Mr Hammond said: “It was confirmed to me that the Met are rethinking their strategy and it’s absolutely important that in this General Election I campaign to keep the police station open.

“When the police station was threatened by the Mayor of London, it won the process of one of the worst consultations of the year by one of the electoral societies.

“The key for me was to make sure that I fight to keep the police station open and as the MP for Wimbledon I want the area to remain safe and I want it to be free from crime as well as free from the fear of crime.”

Since the plan was put forward in February of this year the crime rate in Wimbledon has increased, the highest of the year being October when there were 83 crimes reported and 52 of those associated with anti-social behaviour, vehicle crime and violence and sexual offences.

In September Mr Hammond visited the local police station to meet up with the Borough Commander of Merton to discuss local crime and what the police were aiming to do to combat it.

Mr Hammond said: “I had a lengthy discussion with the borough commander about the impact of marshalling the emergency vehicles for that side of Wandsworth and Wimbledon needing a new centre and the obvious place was to keep it at Wimbledon Station.

“The extra number of police officers, as a result of the 20,000 over three years that Conservatives are promising, means that at the end of the three-year period there will be an extra 200 police officers in the borough and they will need somewhere to be based.”

A petition set up by Mr Hammond to save the police station gathered over four thousand signatures from residents of Wimbledon.

Mr Hammond said: “So far of all the police stations he proposed to close only three I think have closed for various reasons but none of the others are yet saved.

“I don’t think you’ll find any Wimbledon resident who thinks closing the police station is a good idea, you may well be able to find one or two, but I haven’t found any at all. Residents will feel safer with the police station there.

“On my monthly email to locals I often feature the police station campaign as well as on the doorsteps for this election and the local elections last year. It is a significant local issue.

“With modern policing methods officers are equipped with iPads to report things more quickly, but it made a lot more policing logic to keep Wimbledon and not Mitcham open, and that was the campaign I fought in the 2017 election and I’ve been consistent with it for the last two or three years.”

Mr Hammond, who was first elected as MP for Wimbledon in 2005, was re-elected in every election since and he has been working very hard ahead of the General Election on December 12.

Mr Hammond added: “We’ve been doing three counselling sessions every day, going to lot of local events and meeting lots of people and I expect to be very busy as I have throughout the campaign.

“I’ve been working very hard, I’m certainly not complacent and I am pleased with the reactions we’re getting on the doorsteps but there is still time to go and every vote to fight for.”

Read more about what’s important to south west London constituencies in our 24-page General Election preview special.

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