Council reject Labour's calls for 'proper and meaningful' police consultation
12:30pm Tuesday 29th January 2013 in News
Labour's calls for a 'proper and meaningful' consultation on the closure of police front desks were rejected at an extraordinary council meeting last night.
A motion put forward by eight councillors, called on the Mayor of London and the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) to reconsider proposals the party say will 'shape policing in this Borough for a generation.'
Paul Smith, shadow cabinet member for crime and public protection, led calls for a cross party consensus opposing the four front desk closures, which could lead to the station's being permanently closed.
Coun Smith said: "We all welcome the additional police officers, it is progress that we are going back to numbers of March 2010; but there is less certainty about the future of PCSO's and Safer Neighbourhood Teams (SNT).
"SNT's have done loads to tackle the fear of crime, but they will be radically changed under these proposals."
As part of plans to make £500 million cuts to the police budget, Purley, Addington, South Norwood, Norbury and Kenley have had their front counters earmarked for closure.
Councillor Simon Hoar, cabinet member for crime and public protection, accused Labour of scaremongering and said the proposals "removed officers from sitting behind desks to out on patrol where they are visible."
He said: "The police will open new access points and if visitors need privacy the Commissioner has pledged their officers will visit them at home.
"Police officers on the street are more important than preserving a few bricks at an old building, which is used as an access point anyway."
The motion was opposed with 35 votes against and 33 votes for.