Top cop backs police station closure
ISLINGTON'S top policeman is backing the possible closure of Holloway police station – in favour of smaller pod-like bases.
ISLINGTON'S top policeman is backing the possible closure of Holloway police station - in favour of smaller pod-like bases.
Borough Commander Bob Carr believes having permanent homes for Islington's 16 Safer Neighbourhoods community policing teams would be more effective than keeping open the station in Hornsey Road, Holloway.
But he added that even if the station - one of only two in the borough where people can report crimes around the clock - does close, it will be replaced by a new 24-hour station office.
Speaking at the Islington Community Safety Board last Thursday, Chief Superintendent Carr also said he would welcome a new station office in Blackstock Road, Finsbury Park - a road notorious for the 600-strong police raid in March.
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At the moment, Highbury Vale police station in Blackstock Road - also earmarked for possible closure - is used as a patrol base but is not open to members of the public.
Chief Superintendent Carr said: "We want to create these bases but it's important to know that it doesn't mean that there will be any less front counters.
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"There is not a great plot or plan to diminish service here and if Holloway closes we will put a 24-hour station office very close. Although it may be slightly further to go for some, it will be closer for others.
"Personally, I would like to see a police office in Blackstock Road where I think it could be very effective against the problems we have there."
But Sharon Jobe, head of the tenants' and residents' association for the Market Estate, off North Road, Holloway, is concerned. She said: "It would be terrible. People know the station is there and that they can go in and speak to someone at the front desk. Just having the knowledge that there is a police station there is reassuring."
A wide-ranging review of all police buildings in Islington is currently taking place.
Other proposals include a single patrol base - instead of officers patrolling from Holloway and Highbury Vale - and a single custody suite.
Chief Superintendent Carr said a custody suite at Islington police station, Tolpuddle Street, would be a step forward. Prisoners are currently kept at both Islington and Holloway.
He said: "We are short on custody space and need a custody centre, so I think the solution is to take the offices out of Tolpuddle Street and put them into a business nearby. That way we can extend custody to probably the whole first floor at Tolpuddle Street.