We received the following from our network of residents, which has been sent out by the organisation Friends of Wimbledon Town Centre:
Wimbledon Police Station threatened with closure
This week the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has announced proposals to close half of London’s police stations and investigate more crimes by telephone and on line. Wimbledon police station is one of those earmarked for closure. It is argued that few people now visit police stations to report offences and that selling off under-used sites will raise millions of pounds to fund new technology and put more police officers on the streets. It is likely that Mitcham would become the nearest fully functioning, 24/7 police station to Wimbledon if these plans are implemented.
This proposal makes no sense for Wimbledon. The town centre has a large and growing night-time economy, which needs active policing. Sadly, anti-social behaviour is increasingly prevalent, especially at weekends. Wimbledon is also a major transport hub (which will be bigger still if Crossrail 2 goes ahead). Furthermore it hosts the tennis championships, which attract visitors from all over the world and make Wimbledon a potential terrorist target.
The Friends of Wimbledon Town Centre will be objecting to the Mayor of London’s proposal.
What you can do
If you agree that this plan is ill-advised, you can make your views known in the following ways:
By responding to the Mayor’s consultation deadline 6th October 2017.
By writing to Stephen Hammond MP at: firstname.lastname@example.org
By contacting your local ward councillors
By encouraging your friends and neighbours to write as well. (Please also encourage them to join Friends of Wimbledon Town Centre to keep up-to-date with developments.)
Loss of an historic building to make way for development
In addition to the points above, it is worth mentioning in your responses that Wimbledon police station is an historic building, dating from around 1900 and built of red brick with white stone detailing. It is locally listed and, unlike other historic civic and public buildings in the town centre (e.g. the town hall and fire station), it hasn’t been gutted or reduced to a façade and is still used for its original purpose.
The police station occupies a prime site. If it were to close, there is a risk that the site would be redeveloped in an inappropriate manner like many other town centre sites recently.
Note: the Mayor’s consultation document is in Word format: if you wish to respond, you’ll need to download the fairly lengthy questionnaire and fill in responses. There is no need to answer all the questions. However, there are some questions that provide an opportunity to emphasise points such as the importance of Wimbledon police station to the local community as well as to users of Wimbledon and visitors to the town centre, the fact that many people are not able to use digital communications, including social media, to communicate with the police and the need to have police presence in an area of night-time activity and anti-social behaviour. The questions you may find the most appropriate for these issues are 1, 2, 3, 6 and 15 (even though they may not directly refer to the issues in the wording of the question).
You may find it easier simply to write your views in a letter and email or post it to Consultation@mopac.london.gov.uk or
Public Access Consultation
The Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime
London SE1 2AA