Community plan to move police into cottage next to Hampstead Police Station

A community bid has been launched to secure part of Hampstead Police Station to maintain a police presence in the area.

Although Met Police chiefs deny any decision has yet been reached, it is becoming widely accepted that the Grade-II listed police hub in Rosslyn Hill is destined for closure.

Police chiefs across the capital have been tasked with finding �500million in savings over the next three years and it is believed the sale of the building would raise up to �30million to swell the Met’s coffers.

Hampstead residents are formulating plans to take over a cottage next to the 1913 Victorian station to house Hampstead, Belsize and Frognal and Fitzjohn’s neighbourhood police teams.

Campaigners claim it would be an “easy fix” for a problem which has haunted the station for close to a decade.

Rupert Terry, chairman of the Frognal and Fitzjohn’s panel for policing, said: “The chances are slim of re-developing this entire place.

“But the cottage next door is the right size for the policing needs of the Safer Neighbourhood Teams. It would make sure that we maintain a police presence.

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“It would be an easy fix if everyone plays fair.”

Mr Terry suggested the community could buy the site and lease it back to the police or alternatively a legal agreement could be reached with a developer for the 1950s cottage to be used as a police office.

The Heath and Hampstead Society has also approached the mayor’s office for policing and crime – which manages the Met’s estate – with plans to keep a building for the police in Hampstead village.

The society has also suggested any developer should bear a legal responsibility to provide a building for policing teams.

The proposals were raised at a special meeting with Camden Borough Commander John Sutherland at Hampstead Police Station on Thursday (September 13).

He told a packed audience that plans to relocate officers had been put in place should the station be put on the market, but no decision had yet been taken over the “hugely costly” and “under used” police station.

Jessica Learmond-Criqui, part of the campaign to save the station, said: “Keeping the cottage would be the easiest solution to retain a police presence in Hampstead.

“It would mean the police can raise some cash and community policing can still be kept at the heart of the community.”