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South Norwood police team moved to Addiscombe

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FIRST came the news South Norwood Police Station is being closed by the Met.

Now, the Advertiser can reveal the area's Safer Neighbourhood Team has been moved to a new base - more than a mile off patch in Addiscombe.

The seven-strong team has now set up home at Charity House, in Lower Addiscombe Road, after Mayor of London Boris Johnson gave the green light for the station to be put on the market.

News of the restructure comes weeks after the new sergeant leading the neighbourhood team, Mick Emery, told the Advertiser there would be a more visible presence on the streets in the coming months.

Steve O'Connell, non-executive advisor for neighbourhood policing in the Mayor's Office for policing and Crime (MOPAC), said the planned sale of the Oliver Grove building was news to him, but he argued that the move would not affect frontline policing.

He said: "I haven't heard about this. I don't know everything the police are doing across Croydon and London. They wouldn't necessarily inform me anyway.

"But all I want for the residents of South Norwood is for them to see police on their streets and a neighbourhoods team on duty.

"Where they report in the morning and hang their coats up is not of particular importance. The important thing is the team are out on the beat doing their job, at full strength and performing well."

Mr O'Connell, also Greater London Assembly member for Croydon, added: "In the budget, in terms of challenges ahead, there may come choices between buildings and cops, and I know what the people of South Norwood would want.

"I wouldn't be happy if this affected their visibility on the streets and their performance. But I have no problem with teams being relocated if it means no reduction in service."

News of the planned sale, approved by the Mayor's Office, also comes at a time when the latest figures show crime across Croydon in October increased by four per cent on the September figures.

A number of the Met's 800 buildings across London have question marks hanging over them, with the force needing to make savings of around £500million by 2015.

Kenley Police Station, in the south of the borough, is also the subject of speculation, while nearby Wallington station was sold last year.

Tony Newman, Labour leader of the opposition at Croydon Council, said: "This is outrageous.

"The Croydon force has said they are going to open a consultation on front counter services, while decisions are obviously already being made by the mayor behind the scenes.

"The public are being hoodwinked into thinking they are being consulted when decisions are already being made in the face of massive public opposition."

A Met spokesman said: "We can confirm that the South Norwood Safer Neighbourhoods Team has moved bases from South Norwood police station to Charity House, Lower Addiscombe Road.

"Although their base is not directly in their local ward, they will still be spending the vast majority of their time in South Norwood, carrying out their patrols and local policing activity.

"The move is partly due to the agreed release (for sale) of South Norwood Police Station by MOPAC, and also to move the South Norwood team into the same offices as Ashburton and Woodside wards so that the teams can better share information and intelligence."

South Norwood police team moved to Addiscombe


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