The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan is continuing with his plans to close all police stations in Hillingdon except Hayes. To me, this is the wrong decision. While I agree we need to make best use of our resources and have as many officers on the streets as possible, closing Uxbridge Police Station is illogical for a number of reasons. It is a purpose-built station, with excellent transport links and close to the Magistrates’ Court in comparison with Hayes which is difficult to access and requires significant improvements.
The consultation on the Draft Access and Engagement Strategy which sets out a one size fits all policy, for each London borough to have one 24/7 counter each closed in October 2017 and you can read a copy of my full submission below. Following this consultation, I was disappointed when MOPAC confirmed the decision to close Uxbridge Police Station in December 2017. As a former Mayor of London, I understand the need for visible police presence on our streets and so was concerned about the impact on policing in Uxbridge. On the day the decision was announced, I spoke with Hillingdon’s Borough Commander and met the then Chief Superintendent to discuss the practicalities of policing in Uxbridge following this decision and sought assurances of maintaining a high police presence.
I understand this is a deeply disappointing decision for residents in Hillingdon and I know many, like me, cannot understand why this decision has been taken but I can assure you I will continue to work closely with the local police and council to ensure Hillingdon remains a safe place to live and work.
I welcomed Hillingdon Council’s offer in December 2017 to buy the police station and lease it to the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime with a significant grant of £250,000 for five years to cover approximately 50 per cent of the running costs. Sadly, this offer was rejected.
I am continuing to work with Hillingdon Council on a solution to this problem and fully support their new generous offer to purchase the station and ensure that it can continue to be used by the Metropolitan Police. I believe that this is a sensible way forward, however it remains to be seen whether the Mayor will accept this proposal or continue with his damaging programme of police station closures.
I recently met with West Area Chief Superintendent Peter Gardner and reiterated the importance of Uxbridge station to the local community. CSI Gardner confirmed that 275 new officers are being recruited across the West Area in the next 12 months.