London Mayor Sadiq Khan approves plan to close Holborn police station to public
Kentish Town police station will retain a “front counter” open 24 hours a day
02 November, 2017 — By William McLennan
Sadiq Khan has blamed the changes on government cuts
HOLBORN police station is to close to the public under cost-cutting plans that will leave Camden with a single point where crimes can be reported in person.
Kentish Town police station will retain a “front counter” open 24 hours a day. London Mayor Sadiq Khan said the Holborn closure was needed to maintain the number of officers on the street in the face of government funding cuts.
Holborn and Covent Garden Labour councillor Julian Fulbrook said: “It’s a terrible shame. Not having a police station to go to, to go in there and report things, that’s really important to have a desk like that.”
The Mayor said that it was now easier to report crimes online, but Cllr Fulbrook said: “Not everyone has an iPhone in their pocket. I don’t think it’s the same as walking to your local police station.”
Several Safer Neighbourhoods teams will also lose their community bases in West Hampstead and Camden Town, as the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime looks to save money on existing property deals
Officers covering Camden Town, Somers Town, Primrose Hill and Cantelowes have been based at the station in Greenland Road, Camden Town, which is not open to the public. It meant the officers were based on or near their patch. They will now have to turn up to Kentish Town or Holborn at the beginning of every shift, before making their way to their beats.
Inspector Paul Clarke said he recognised the problems this will create, adding: “That’s always going to be an issue. However, the efficiencies and savings we have got to make as a result of financial squeezes and funding formulas mean that, for the benefit of Londoners as a whole, we have to make these unfortunate decisions. In a perfect world we’d keep them open. We’d have more places open and we wouldn’t have to cut our budget by a third, which is what we’ve done in the last few years.”
He said that Holborn police station, in Lamb’s Conduit Street, was used to report only an average of 3.3 crimes per day, adding: “There isn’t a massive residential population. That was why the decision was made to close down Holborn.”
The Mayor said: “The drastic nature of government cuts to policing budgets has left us with no choice but to take drastic action and make some very difficult decisions. The fact is that as a result of government cuts, police officer numbers are falling.”
He added: “Every pound spent keeping a police station open is a pound that would otherwise need to be found by cutting police officer numbers even further. That is why, at a time of crime rising nationally and the terrorism threat we face, I continue to call on ministers to urgently end the police funding crisis.”
Across London the cuts will save £8million.