St John’s Wood and Marylebone Police Stations to be sold as Met struggle to meet budget cuts
Two Westminster police stations could be sold as police chiefs struggle to balance their books.
St John’s Wood Police Station in Newcourt Street, has been earmarked for closure and officers from Marylebone Police Station are being moved to Paddington Green Police Station in Edgware Road, the Wood&Vale understands.
Police have admitted the use of both stations is “under review”, and they could “deliver substantial savings”, but insist no decision has been taken over their future.
Westminster’s police chiefs are considering putting the police hubs on the market after scrapping earlier proposals to cut 300 officers from the force in a bid to fill the financial black hole left by government cutbacks.
One local estate agent estimated property on Newcourt Street to be worth as much as �1,000 per square foot.
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Abbey Road ward councillors, Deputy Mayor Dr Cyril Nemeth and Cllr Lindsay Hall expressed concern over the loss of the St John’s Wood station.
Cllr Hall said: “I feel it is a great shame for the police to lose a station in the centre of the local community.
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“We are lucky to be a low crime area, but most criminal activity happens around the high street, and having a police station nearby is very reassuring for people.
“We are examining the possibility of putting some of our ward budget into creating small police hubs, like manned-TARDISes, to keep a police presence in the community.”
Marylebone Police Station in Seymour Street is leased from the Portman Estate, a private landlord which owns a large chunk of the area.
Police are likely to save money on the day-to-day running costs of the building, and may receive cash for surrendering the lease.
Stephen Quinn, chairman of the Marylebone association, said he was not concerned about the closure so long as frontline policing was protected.
A Westminster police spokesman said: “The MPS is reviewing the whole of the property estate to ensure we are making best use of it and identifying efficiency savings that can be reinvested into operational policing.
“As part of this we are looking at the current property provision across Westminster including St John’s Wood and Marylebone Police Station.
“No proposals for these buildings have been put to the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime, but we are reviewing it in light of operational requirements.
“We will continue to develop our strategy for these buildings as they could provide an opportunity to improve the estate, at the same time as delivering substantial savings that will allow the MPS to protect operational capability.”