It has been confirmed that following Conservative cuts to London's police budget, eight Lambeth police stations will close, including the front desks at Streatham and Kennington. Brixton will remain open as the only accessible police station in Lambeth.
The closures have come about as a result of the Government’s decision to press ahead with sharp reductions to the Metropolitan Police’s budget. Over £1bn will be slashed from the force’s budget by 2020, despite warnings that officers are already stretched to breaking point. The Mayor of London was warned that thousands of frontline police officers could be lost from London's streets in the next few years. Lambeth is already one of the toughest policing environments in the country.
Lambeth Labour campaigned hard to keep Lambeth’s stations open and to raise awareness of the increasing problems facing an underfunded police service as part of Labour's commitment to tackling crime and making streets safer.
Labour successfully campaigned for serious youth violence to be made one of the Mayor's top policing priorities and has continued to protect funding for our ground-breaking Violence Against Women and Girl's Service. Lambeth is also developing an innovative Youth Violence Strategy in response to the alarming rise in violent youth crime
Nearly 1,500 residents added their name to the petition against further police cuts which was launched with the support of community leaders. Labour councillors passed a motion at recent council meetings calling on the plans to be dropped and Cllr Peck's formal submission to the consultation warned that residents in Streatham, many of whom are elderly or vulnerable, could face a two hour round trip to report a crime.
The Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) response can be read here: https://www.london.gov.uk/mopac-publications/public-access-strategy
Cllr Lib Peck, Leader of Lambeth Council said:
“This is extremely disappointing news. We campaigned hard against the plans because we believe that publicly accessible police stations are essential to the community-focused neighbourhood policing that is vital to tackling crime and providing reassurance. It is encouraging that the Mayor has already listened to Lambeth and made youth crime a top priority, and we will continue to protect funding for our Violence Against Women and Girl's Service.
“But it is clear that the Tory Government are trying to protect the public on the cheap. We have already lost thousands of officers in London and the deep cuts to the Met’s budget risk stretching the force to breaking point.”