Law professor Paul Kohler in legal challenge bid against police station closures in east London and Essex
PUBLISHED: 12:40 25 January 2018 | UPDATED: 17:54 25 January 2018
A law professor who was viciously beaten in his home has launched a crowdfundraising campaign to fund a legal challenge against the closure of 37 police stations in London.
Axed stations in east London and Essex
Paul Kohler, a Lib Dem activist, claims he only survived because officers were able to get to his home quickly from his local police station in Wimbledon.
The 58-year-old is seeking a judicial review against the London Mayor Sadiq Kahn’s proposals which will see the stations, including seven in east London and Essex, close for good.
Lawyers acting for Paul argue that the public consultation and consequent decision were legally flawed and unlawful.
Defending the closures Sadiq has previously said his top priority was keeping Londoners safe but the closures have been forced by government cuts to the Met.
Paul, an academic at the School of Oriental and African Studies University, said: “The mayor’s plan to remove police stations from the heart of many communities is a short-sighted and unimaginative response to the funding crisis caused by the government’s equally misguided decision to slash the Metropolitan Police budget.”
The activist’s bid is being supported by Ed Davey, Lib Dem MP and the party’s spokesman on home affair.
“The Conservatives decision to continue slashing the police budget has left police forces up and down the country forced to decide between keeping officers on the beat or closing community police stations, “ he said.
“But London’s Labour Mayor can’t simply hide behind these Conservative cuts. Mayor Khan’s top priority must be to keep Londoners safe and use every “With robbery, knife and gun crime on the increase this move is inexplicable and irresponsible. The Liberal Democrats would increase the police budget to keep a reassuring police presence on our street and Londoners safe.”
Under the proposals by Sadiq Khan Dagenham station was due to be closed but following a campaign by politicians and residents it has been saved.
However Barking police station is now facing closure instead.
To make a donation to Paul’s crowdfunding bid visit crowdjustice.com/case/save-londons-police-stations.