Police services at risk as Fulham station downgraded

Hammersmith & Fulham Council says the Mayor of London’s plans to shut Fulham Police Station and cut police numbers in the borough are unacceptable.

Plans were recently announced to shut Fulham Police Station and retaining only a ‘front counter’ for residents.

This drastic reduction to the police service in the borough comes at a time when there are proposals to axe the borough’s PCSOs and others across the capital.

“This is yet another example of police services in the borough being attacked by the government and the Mayor of London,” said Cllr Michael Cartwright, H&F Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour.

London mayor Boris Johnson said Hammersmith & Fulham’s Met Police team will keep a ‘front counter’ at the station in Heckfield Place, with the rest given up to accommodate Fulham Boys School if the plans go ahead.

But Cllr Cartwright hit back at the plans which effectively shut Fulham Police station by saying: “We support Fulham Boys School and are therefore hugely disappointed that after a year of promises by the mayor to find a decent site he’s not been able to come up with anything better than closing an important police station.

"Fulham residents need a fully functional police station. The Mayor must come clean about what the sale of the building means for a police presence in a fast growing area. He has said that there will be a ‘front counter’ service, but what does that mean? How will response times be affected in emergencies? How many officers will be stationed in Fulham after much of the station is closed?”

Councillor Cartwright added: “Police officers in the borough are already stretched thanks to government cuts and now the Met are being forced to axe PCSOs. We’re very concerned about what these plans will mean for residents.”

H&F currently has 24 PCSOs, one based in each of its 16 wards, plus eight more. The Met is considering scrapping them all together, cutting numbers by half or just leaving the ward based ones.

Fulham Boys School could be built on the site of Fulham Police Station by September 2017. The CofE secondary school is currently based at a temporary site in Earls Court.

Meanwhile, the current number of police officers on the beat in Hammersmith & Fulham is at its highest-ever – thanks to direct funding from the council.

After re-negotiating contracts with property developers, new funding was secured in the Spring for the provision of eight new police officers – bringing the total of council-funded officers to 44, the largest it has ever been.

And in just the first eight weeks of being on the beat council-funded police officers in H&F responded to almost 500 emergency calls, as well as meeting with residents to understand local priorities.

The improved council-funded force has 41 constables, two sergeants and an inspector.

It includes eight neighbourhood police constables, who work very closely with their communities in partnership with Neighbourhood Watch schemes, schools and residents’ associations to tackle issues such as gangs, reoffending and domestic abuse.

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