MP Theresa Villiers has written to the capital's policing Deputy Mayor urging her to retain a base for officers in Chipping Barnet, following news that the police station will be sold off by the Mayor of London.
Theresa told Sophie Linden that closure would mean officers having to travel all the way from Colindale to police the streets and suggested a shop could be rented as a place for officers to be located in her constituency. This would mean, she told the Deputy Mayor, that "neighbourhood officers could spend more time on the beat deterring crime, and less time on the bus”.
“I would like to reiterate that Barnet needs its police station,” she said in the letter. “Not only do my constituents value the chance to report crimes face-to-face at a front counter, they are also deeply concerned about the loss of the building as a base for officers. Asking all police currently located in Barnet police station to move to Colindale, including local ward teams, will inevitably have a negative impact on police presence and visibility in my constituency.”
Theresa has urged the London Mayor to drop his plans to sell off the police station and continues to campaign for the front desk to re-open, but she has floated the idea of alternative premises as a compromise. Speaking about this initiative, she said “I want to save the police station and will continue to lobby the Mayor to do that. But if he is not willing to change his mind on closure, then it is vital that he finds new facilities for police officers in the Chipping Barnet constituency. There are a number of empty shops which could converted to do this.”
“That would not make up for the loss of a functioning police station, but it would mitigate the negative consequences that the imminent sell-off would have.”
The Barnet MP emphasised to the Deputy Mayor how strongly her constituents feel about this issue and asked for a meeting to discuss it, concluding in her letter: "Even should it be impossible to save the police station in its current form, I do hope that you and the Mayor may be open to the possibility of a compromise which retains a police presence in the Chipping Barnet constituency.”