Proposed police station closures in Barking, Dagenham and Hornchurch
Three police stations in Barking and Dagenham face closure under the government's latest round of cuts. The stations in Barking Town Centre, Dagenham and Marks Gate are all set to close. This announcement follows the service crippling cuts that have already been implemented by London Mayor Boris Johnson; frontline police were cut by 4000 between 2010 and 2012.The news to close three police stations means that the borough would be left with only one functioning police station, based at the far end of Barking. Although dubbed a ‘super-station' that will hold nearly 500 officers it is hard to imagine that it will have the impact and reach of separate, local police stations. Barking and Dagenham Supt Mike Hamer said: "We realise that there is a great deal of genuine concern about some parts of the plans and the consultation will provide everyone with the opportunity to learn more about the proposed changes and to raise the issues that are of concern to them." A public consultation has been set. The consultation will involve a Town Hall meeting in every London borough and is to end on March 6th. The local MP for Dagenham and Rainham, Jon Cruddas is concerned that these closures will lead to an increase in crime throughout the constituency. With Hornchurch police station also closing the need for local policing is becoming a hot issue. Many local residents have contacted Jon's office raising their concerns.
Jon Cruddas MP commented on the proposed closures:
"I am extremely concerned about the recent announcements.
"Let's be clear about what this means. Under Boris Johnson and the Tories' new police plans Dagenham will lose both its police stations at Marks Gate and Rainham Rd South. This comes after Mr Johnson has cut 4000 frontline police between March 2010 and April 2012 across London. This is just not on. In the early consultation I lobbied against any such plans and will continue to campaign against these closures.
"The closures will leave much of the borough open to increased levels of crime. The only police station in the borough will be at the far end of Barking.
"I will ensure that local residents have their say in this consultation and make sure it is not a simple fait accompli – a stitch up; one that threatens the protection of local residents, good quality neighbourhood policing and the ability of residents to report crime. I will make sure these plans are not just sneaked through the back door."