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Editorial comment: Police station closure sends bad message

PUBLISHED: 15:00 08 November 2017

Holloway Police Station is due to close. Picture: JULIAN OSLEY/GEOGRAPH/CC BY-SA 2.0

Holloway Police Station is due to close. Picture: JULIAN OSLEY/GEOGRAPH/CC BY-SA 2.0

Archant

The closure of Holloway police station is understandable. And also absurd.

As we reported last week, the station will be shut by the end of the year. The fallout continued this week.

“Don’t worry,” one reader wrote to us on Sunday with a slight hint of sarcasm, “I’m sure crime levels won’t rise accordingly.”

News of the closure wasn’t a surprise, as the part-time station is barely open and the Met is suffering massive government funding cuts.

More disturbing is the message it sends out. Islington, a tightly packed borough of 215,000 people, will soon only have one police station, in Tolpuddle Street.

Where moped crime was merely a problem a few years ago, it’s out of control now, with snatch thefts up 83 per cent in 2017.

Knife crime, meanwhile, has been at crisis point for so many years that it’s no longer a shock to hear about a stabbing. That in itself is terrifying.

In this culture of cuts, do we really see these situations improving in years to come?

Almost certainly not, and the closure of Holloway police station – one of 37 across the capital – shows why.

City Hall understandably chose to shut these buildings because it would rather keep cops in their jobs, and on the beat. But would you be surprised if those officers are next to go?

• Aside from the ongoing disaster of Met budget cuts, will the closure of Holloway increase the workload of staff at Islington police station?

If it does, I’m not encouraged by the experience of a friend whose wallet was ganked in Upper Street Wetherspoons two years ago.

He reported it at the station, but the officer forgot to call the pub for its CCTV footage of the incident. Which then got erased.

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