Three police stations face closure in Barking and Dagenham

Three police stations in Barking and Dagenham face the axe under a Scotland Yard cost-cutting drive.

The stations in Barking Town Centre, Dagenham and Marks Gate would close in a bid to plug a �500million budget gap in the Metropolitan Police.

The borough would be left with the �18m super-police station at Fresh Wharf in Highbridge Road, Barking, and a police annexe at Barking Learning Centre on the Town Square, according to a police report.

Axed

The Fresh Wharf base unveiled in 2011 caters for nearly 500 officers including CID detectives and 999 patrol and includes a state-of-the-art custody suite for 30 detainees.


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Police managers will be cut and 65 of the least used police front counters across the capital but the number of officers in Barking and Dagenham is to increase from 426 in 2011 to 493 in 2015.

Barking and Dagenham Supt Mike Hamer said: “We realise that there is a great deal of genuine concern about some parts of the plans and the consultation will provide everyone with the opportunity to learn more about the proposed changes and to raise the issues that are of concern to them.

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“I hope that during the course of the consultation people will be reassured that policing in Barking and Dagenham will be improved by enhanced officer availability and better victim and customer care.”

Under a new policing model, specialist crime squads will be axed and 4,600 officers moved into new neighbourhood teams led by a ‘Sheriff’ style borough commander accountable for meeting targets and cutting crime in their area.

The Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime, the body overseeing the Met’s �3.6billion budget and annual targets, is also in talks with the Post Office over using their high street branches as location points. A pilot will start in the summer.

Deputy Mayor for Policing, Stephen Greenhalgh, said the cost-cutting would have to be implemented while crime is cut by 20 per cent in seven priority areas and public confidence in the police is increased from its current 62 per cent to 75 per cent by 2016.

He said: “We think that cutting crime is not enough. We also need to see a boost in the public confidence in the police service, which at the moment is lower than we would like it to be.”

Met Police Deputy Commissioner Craig Mackay said 80 per cent of its spend was on police staff and offices, and functions such as IT. Officers will be instructed to work on mobile devices rather in an office.

A public consultation set to involve a Town Hall meeting in every London borough is to end on March 6.

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