City Hall accepts offer for Hampstead police station as contact point search hits snags
- Credit: Nigel Sutton
Hampstead police station is on the verge of being sold after an offer was accepted for the Grade II-listed building.
But a senior police officer has admitted the hunt for an alternative public contact point is proving harder than expected.
The Mayor of London’s office confirmed this week that the century-old station in Rosslyn Hill is under offer, although a deal has yet to be finalised.
The site was placed on the property market shortly before being closed on June 24, accompanied by a glossy brochure that cited housing or a boutique hotel as viable future uses.
The news comes as Ch Insp Steve Wright, who is in charge of neighbourhood policing in Camden, revealed that the location for a new contact point for residents in Hampstead remains unresolved – more than two months after the station shut its doors.
In a briefing at Holborn police station last Thursday, he said: “We’re still in negotiation to find a suitable venue.
“There’s a lot to think about and we want it to be in a place where people will want it there. It’s important to find the right one, so we are taking the time to make sure we find the right premises.”
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Mr Wright said a stumbling block was that premises are concerned about the cost of accommodating police officers during contact point hours of 8pm to 9pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays and 2pm to 3pm on Saturdays.
He also reiterated doubts about using the Royal Free Hospital in Pond Street, Hampstead.
As reported in the Ham&High police are concerned that officers would get distracted from their duties by events in the accident and emergency ward if a contact point was based at the hospital.
While the search continues, Mr Wright is keen to highlight the success of Camden police’s new “appointment cars”, which were launched on the same day that Hampstead police station closed.
Residents can book a meeting for an appointment car to attend their home or another location of their choice by calling 101 and a police constable will meet them.
There are three appointment cars working 365 days a year.
Mr Wright said: “It’s proving very popular and it’s a bit of a culture change for people who are realising it’s far more convenient to have a police officer turn up where they want, when they want, rather than to walk into the front of the police station where they could be at the back of a queue.”