Fears over closure of Islington police stations

Fears surround the future of Islington’s police stations after allegations that there are plans to close and sell off at least one of them.

Highbury Vale Police Station in Blackstock Road – a potentially valuable piece of real estate – is thought to be earmarked for sale by the Met.

At a meeting last week, Mayor of London Boris Johnson refused to commit to more than one 24-hour-a-day police station in the borough in the future.

Highbury Vale does not have a counter service but is home to four Safer Neighbourhoods teams, as well as other services, which are to be moved to the new office attached to Holloway Fire Station in Hornsey Road.

Concerns have also been raised about the remaining two stations in Islington, which are both open 24 hours a day.

Islington’s Lib Dem leader, Cllr Terry Stacy, who represents the Highbury East ward, said of Highbury Vale: “It has been valued and estate agents have been brought in to market it. Boris needs to come clean on his plans for policing in Islington.

“We are now faced with the possible loss of one of Islington’s police stations with no guarantee that any money from the sale of the Highbury Vale site will go back into policing in Islington. Holloway police station is over a mile away.

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“It makes you worry about the future of Islington’s other stations if this is how they treat Highbury Vale.”

He added: “Islington’s streets are also set to lose at least a fifth of their police officers during the Olympics. Residents need to be reassured that these two decisions will not leave us more vulnerable to crime and anti-social behaviour.”

A spokesman for the Met said many of their buildings are inefficient for modern policing and need to be replaced.

He said: “We are looking at police estate requirements in Islington. Our aim is to improve the policing across the borough for the long-term and looking at our property requirements is a key part of this.

“We have put a proposal regarding Highbury Vale Police Station to the Mayor’s Office for their initial consideration and await approval.

“We will continue to develop our strategy for this building as this could provide an opportunity to improve the estate at the same time as delivering substantial savings that will allow the MPS to protect operational capability.”