Tower Hamlets could lose public access to all but one of its police stations

Victims of crime in Tower Hamlets could lose access to all but one of the borough’s police stations under new Met proposals.

Under a review of public access to police services across London, an option being considered is to keep only one of the Bethnal Green or Limehouse police stations open for 24 hours to the public.

Police counters in the borough’s four other stations could also go and be replaced by drop-in desks and Safer Neighbourhoods surgeries.

Tower Hamlets politicians have urged the public to respond to a consultation into the changes.

Jim Fitzpatrick, MP for Poplar and Limehouse, said: “The police cannot shut up shop in deprived neighbourhoods without public consent and a real alternative.

“A lot of good police work has been done in my constituency because a real police constable can be reached in a person’s time of need.”

John Biggs, London Assembly member for City and East, said: “People need to stand up and be counted or they risk losing access to police stations.

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“All the evidence shows people value a police presence.

“There needs to be a good justification for any change.”

Tower Hamlets mayor Lutfur Rahman said it was vital residents feel safe and he would be considering the proposals.

The Met say police counters are more expensive than most forms of contact.

Tower Hamlets borough commander Det Chief Supt Paul Rickett said: “It takes about six members of staff to keep a front office open, so where would you rather have these officers, maintaining a counter or on the streets?

“The provision of front counters has provoked strong debate in the past, so it is important as many people as possible complete the survey.”

The survey, which must be completed by May 27, is available at