Closure of half of Tower Hamlets' police stations approved by City Hall
PUBLISHED: 18:23 25 March 2013 | UPDATED: 18:23 25 March 2013
Controversial plans to close half of Tower Hamlets' police stations to the public have been given the green light, prompting warnings that communities will be left in danger.
Campaigners have been left furious after it was announced by City Hall that front desks at the Isle of Dogs, Bow and Poplar police stations will all close.
They will be replaced by “contact points” at the stations, opening for three hours each week – prompting chiefs to deny their closure.
Tower Hamlets borough commander Dave Stringer said: “We are not closing any stations in the borough of Tower Hamlets. Three of our stations will become contact points rather than 24 hour stations.
“The reason this is taking place is that there is a very low level of demand at these sites and reducing the opening times at the front counter will allow us to re-deploy officers to visible patrolling in these neighbourhoods.”
Crime rates in Tower Hamlets have increased by nine per cent since cuts started to bite in 2010, according to Metropolitan police figures.
Bethnal Green and Bow MP Rushanara Ali led a group of Labour MPs and Assembly Members to hand deliver a letter to Mr Johnson on Monday, raising “deep concern” about the impact of cuts to the police.
She said: “This will lead to a heavily reduced police presence across London and put the safety of our communities at risk.
“The reality is that there will be substantial changes. What does a contact point mean for vulnerable victims of crime, domestic violence victims, children and vulnerable people?”
Bethnal Green police station will be the only one providing a 24-hour service, while stations in Brick Lane and Limehouse will remain open during the day time.