1.7 police station visit per hour in Barking and Dagenham, poll shows

Closure plans: Barking Police Station in Ripple Road is among three Met buildings facing the axe in

Closure plans: Barking Police Station in Ripple Road is among three Met buildings facing the axe in the east London borough - Credit: Archant

Fewer than two people visit London police stations every hour, according to a poll which contradicts the view that closure plans could fuel crime in the capital.

A study by the Reform think-tank found that 1.9 members of the public used their police station on average in London and just 1.71 visitor went to the three stations in Barking and Dagenham each hour in 2010.

The think-tank maintains its survey indicates that interactions between the police and the public may be increasingly taking place within neighbourhoods and through new forms of communication, rather than at brick and mortar police buildings.

Reform published its findings today after the Met unveiled plans to close all of the three police stations in Barking and Dagenham as part of a £500m cost-cutting drive.

The police buildings in Dagenham, Marks Gate and Barking would be replaced by a single 24-hour front counter at Barking Learning Centre on the Town Square, with police working out of an £18million out-of-town base at Fresh Wharf in Highbridge Road, Barking.

Post readers and politicians including London Assembly member John Biggs and Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas have condemned the proposals.

But Reform director Andrew Haldenby said: “This evidence suggests that the Metropolitan Police is absolutely right to question the fabric of existing police stations in order to deliver services that the public want.”

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