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People will feel 'unsafe' if Croydon police stations are closed, say residents

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THE police station in Kenley and another base in Purley will be closed, the Met has announced.

The closures, announced on Wednesday, mean Croydon will have just one full-time police station – in the town centre – and none in the south of the borough.

When questions were raised about the future of Kenley's police station in Godstone Road last February, ward councillor Steve O'Connell told the Advertiser: "I am absolutely committed to making sure Kenley Police Station stays open. I will do everything in my power to make sure that it stays."

Speaking on Wednesday, Mr O'Connell, also the London Assembly member for Croydon and Sutton, appeared to have backtracked and said he was "excited" about plans to use post offices and libraries as police contact points.

He said "What the public wants is more constables out on the streets and longer hours for SNTs. They're not particularly bothered about buildings. They want to see the front line protected and, in this case, bulked up."

The closures, which will also affect the stations in South Norwood, Addington and Norbury, form part of far-reaching changes to policing, which mean Croydon will be allocated an extra 117 police officers - the second highest increase in London.

Labour leader Tony Newman has claimed the figures are being "spun" and branded the closures "utterly shocking".

Tarsem Flora, from Purley and Woodcote Residents' Association, said: "I find these closures very, very disturbing.

"I don't know what is to be done because we don't have the resources for the police stations anymore, but I know many people in Purley, Kenley and the surrounding areas will be very distressed at this news.

"I don't see residents from the south of the borough going all the way into Croydon to the police station. That station is very inaccessible anyway. Everyone is going to feel much less safe."

Kenley resident Roger Capham fears the closure of his village's station, which is currently open to the public from 10 am to 2pm on weekdays, will leave people feeling "unsafe" and "distressed".

He said: "My biggest concern is we will see an increase in crime. If there is no police presence around here, people who commit crimes will see us as an easy target." New Addington has its own police base in Central Parade but it is not open to the public and crimes cannot be reported there. Residents fear the closure of the Addington station in Addington – currently open to the public from from 8am to 7pm Monday to Friday – could leave the estate 'exposed'. Ken Burgess, chairman of the Central Parade Business Partnership, hopes the promised extra officers will filter into New Addington. He told the Advertiser: "I think it [the station closure] is a bad step. and It is going to leave us exposed. "People are not going to be able to report stuff. At the moment the one on Central Parade cannot be used for reporting anything. "For people who have a problem and need to report something, where are they going to go? "If they open it [the one in Central Parade] to the public, that to our mind would be a good move. "If they are just shutting Addington Village and not improving the facilities in Central Parade, that would be a bad move. "To put the money into bobbies on the beat is good, but we still need a point of contact."

People will feel 'unsafe' if Croydon police stations are closed, say residents


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