Theresa Villiers has welcomed a change in direction on police stations signalled by Deputy Mayor, Sophie Linden. The Barnet MP has been fighting for years to save Barnet police station. Earmarked for sell-off by the Mayor of London in 2017, its front desk closed some time ago, but the building has remained in use by officers, including neighbourhood teams.
In a letter today to Ms Villiers, the Deputy Mayor for policing says: "Given the points raised by the Casey Review around invigorating the frontline of policing, and the additional Mayoral investment to support recruitment, the Mayor has acknowledged that there is an increased likelihood that the MPS will need to retain more buildings that previously thought."
Welcoming that statement, Theresa Villiers said "It looks like progress is being made on my six year campaign to save Barnet police station. I have maintained the pressure on the Mayor of London, and now his deputy is acknowledging that a change of approach is needed."
"The letter I received today accepts that the Casey review and increased funding for the police mean that more buildings may need to be retained than previously thought."
"Thanks to the 20,000 extra police funded by the Government, the Met now have more uniformed officers than at any time in their history. Those officers need space to work. And recent problems at the Met have shown that our police service needs to be more integrated into the communities it serves. That is not helped if they retreat into fewer and fewer police stations."
"My campaign to save our local police station will continue. I remain hopeful that we will finally be able to persuade the Mayor to scrap his decision to sell it off for redevelopment."
Ms Villiers has spoken to Sir Mark Rowley about Barnet police station on several occasions and he has asked his team to conduct a review of the list of police buildings due to be closed and sold off. This was due to report at the end of the summer. So it is now expected imminently.