By the end of this year SE1's two police stations in Borough High Street and Kennington Road will both close their doors to the public, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has confirmed.
Under plans confirmed by City Hall this week, Southwark's only police station with a front counter for public enquiries will be in Walworth, whilst Lambeth residents will have to travel to Brixton for the same service.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: "The drastic nature of Government cuts to policing budgets has left us with no choice but to take drastic action and make some very difficult decisions.
"Keeping Londoners safe is my number-one priority, and supporting officers out on the beat in our communities is more important than keeping open buildings that are simply not used by the vast majority of the public, and where just eight per cent of crimes are reported.
"Nevertheless, I understand and share some of the very legitimate concerns of Londoners about these closures. That is why we held the widest possible consultation with public meetings in every London borough and we have listened very carefully to the feedback.
"I am confident that these final plans maintain the best possible service for Londoners, and will provide the access to the police that they need – especially in an emergency. The combination of one 24/7 front counter in every borough, more dedicated local officers in better contact with the communities they serve, and a significantly improved online service will mean that Londoners are able to contact the police in the way that suits them best.
"The fact is that as a result of government cuts, police officer numbers are falling, and every pound spent keeping a police station open is a pound that would otherwise need to be found by cutting police officer numbers even further. That is why, at a time of crime rising nationally and the terrorism threat we face, I continue to call on Ministers to urgently end the police funding crisis."
This week Southwark's borough commander Ch Supt Simon Messinger told a Southwark Council housing and community safety scrutiny sub-committee meeting that many of those who use the front counter at Southwark Police Station are tourists asking for directions.
Ch Supt Messinger also indicated that plans to bring policing in Southwark and Lambeth under a single command are likely to go ahead – "it's when, not if" he told councillors.
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