Today Hornchurch Police Station; tomorrow.....who knows?
Following growing public concern, last September/October Jon Cruddas MP for Dagenham and Rainham launched a campaign to fight against the proposed closure of Hornchurch police station. Utilising his growing volunteer network surveys were delivered to homes across South Hornchurch, Elm Park and Rainham asking for local residents support. A petition was started and hundreds of local residents voiced their opinions and signed the petition. In addition to this a huge online campaign was launched, emailing every constituent to hear their views and urge them to collect signatures and send them in.
Jon Cruddas MP for Dagenham and Rainham commented: "Closing local police stations across Barking and Dagenham and in Havering is not the answer to reducing the national deficit. It should be done slower in order to protect vital services like policing.
"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 and Hornchurch will lose its main police station. 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."
Local businesses also backed the campaign and were concerned about a possible rise in crime locally due to the closures. The closure means that officers will have to travel further and response times will be drastically damaged. Understandably the people living in the south of Havering are worried that they will get a lower level of policing on the streets, and an increase in local crime.
Jon Cruddas MP is set to meet with Det Supt Tony Bennett; Havering's acting Borough Commander in the coming weeks to present him with the petition, asking for a wider public consultation on the closure of Hornchurch police station. There is a public consultation event to be held at the Salvation Army Centre in Romford on Thursday February 21st from 8pm-9pm. However compared to a public consultation period on the subject of Barking and Dagenham's closures lasting until March 6th this is just unacceptable.
Jon argues that "closures will leave much of the constituency of Dagenham and Rainham open to increased levels of crime. I will fight to ensure that local residents have their say on this important issue, one that threatens the protection of local residents, good quality neighbourhood policing and the ability of residents to report crime."
In the midst of government cuts this local closure concerns us all whether we live in Hornchurch or not.