Goswell Road Met Police base will soon close when lease expires, it’s revealed
- Credit: Archant
The safer neighbourhoods base in Goswell Road will soon close with officers being relocated to Islington Police Station, the Gazette can reveal.
Plans to close the facility were first outlined in the public access strategy document published in 2017, but the force has now confirmed Bunhill ward's safer neighbourhoods team (SNT) will vacate the buildings before its lease expires in January.
The Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) and the Met Police are closing the site as part of plans to reduce frontline police counters to save £8million against a backdrop of central government cuts.
Since 2010, 600 police stations have been closed, including the Highbury Vale base in Blackstock Road, while some 21,000 officers have been lost and the force's funding has been reduced by about 19 per cent.
Insp Thomas Ashley, who leads Islington's safer neighbourhoods teams, said: "We are working to relocate the Bunhill Safer Neighbourhoods Team to Islington Police Station. That will be within a 20 minute walk to their ward, as set out in our strategy.
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"Our approach is not just financially driven; we aim to protect the front line of officers who deliver the service by making the highest possible savings in our estate.
"We are confident the measures we described in the strategy - for example dedicated ward officers, community contact sessions, the application of mobile devices, digital channels for contact - position us in the current financial climate to deliver a service that is both responsive and public-oriented, but does not tie us to expensive buildings.
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"We always recognised that many would be disappointed to lose their police bases but they can be reassured that police are not retreating from communities - the officers who respond to emergency calls are deployed while they are on patrol rather than from a police station."
The force intends to advertise the closure of the Goswell Road base to neighbours closer to the time.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has long advocated recruiting 20,000 extra officers to reverse police cuts, and since becoming PM Boris Johnson has also touted this policy.