Hopes for ‘cop shop’ dashed as Mayor axes Hampstead police station
PUBLISHED: 12:00 28 March 2013
Â© Nigel Sutton email firstname.lastname@example.org
Last-ditch hopes for a “cop shop” on the site of Hampstead police station, due to close later this year, have been dashed by City Hall in light of plans to set up a police “contact point” at the Royal Free Hospital.
Following three months of public consultation, the Mayor’s Office for Policing And Crime (MOPAC) announced on Monday that the Hampstead station, in Rosslyn Hill, would close as part of London-wide police cutbacks.
On Tuesday, campaigners led by Hampstead councillor Simon Marcus gathered outside the station calling for the building’s annexe – known as “the cottage” – to be converted into police accommodation when the station closes.
But a City Hall spokesman told the Ham&High there were no plans for a police presence in the cottage or anywhere else on the site, adding: “The plan is to have a contact point at the Royal Free, not at the cottage.”
Earlier this week, Cllr Marcus, who will stand as Conservative parliamentary candidate to replace Hampstead and Kilburn MP Glenda Jackson at the next general election, called on a developer to take on the station and “do the right thing” for the community.
“We want a win-win for the community where a responsible developer is prepared to put new accommodation in or around the building so we can have a police presence – a cop shop,” he said.
It was also announced in Monday’s MOPAC report that front counters at West Hampstead police station, in Fortune Green Road and Albany Street police station, in Regent’s Park, will also close.
However, the West Hampstead station will be retained for operational needs and a contact point provided at the building, in addition to the contact point planned at the Royal Free.
Under the original plans, Kentish Town police station, in Holmes Road, was set to have its current front counter service cut from 24-hour to just daytime operation.
However, Monday’s report revealed that, following consultation, it will now continue to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
On the other hand, Golders Green police station, in Finchley Road, due to stay open ahead of the consultation period, will now close. It will be replaced by a contact point in the safer neighbourhood team (SNT) base, in Golders Green Road.
Andrew Dismore, Labour London Assembly member for Barnet and Camden, said: “This is a slap in the face for many in the Jewish community, who will also be disadvantaged with the contact points opening on Saturdays.”
Contact points are currently open at four sites across Camden for an hour every Wednesday and Thursday evening, between 7pm and 8pm, and every Saturday afternoon, between 2pm and 3pm.
There are contact points at SNT bases in Camden Town, Swiss Cottage, West Hampstead and Highgate.
Contact points are locations for non-urgent, face-to-face contact between the public and local police.