The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is proposing to close all the police stations in Hillingdon, apart from Hayes End Station. This is to help towards the millions of pounds of savings that the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) have to make to remain in budget. It is part of a larger plan to have only one police station in each London Borough, but two in Westminster. The plan is out for consultation until 6th October 2017.
MOPAC (Mayor’s Office for Police and Crime) held a public meeting on Wednesday, 13th September, where they admitted that the reason they chose Hayes End Station to keep, rather than the much more accessible Uxbridge Station (which the MPS call “Hillingdon”), was based on the resale value of the land they occupy, and not on the best solution for the residents of Hillingdon. The meeting was unanimous that Hayes End was the wrong location for a single police station in Hillingdon. Amongst the reasons people at the meeting gave were:
- Very poor public transport links, compared to Uxbridge
- No Underground or National Rail station nearby (Hayes End Police Station is not in Hayes town centre)
- MOPAC’s own maps show that it will take over an hour to get to Hayes End Station by public transport from some parts of the borough – by comparison it takes about 30 minutes to get from Batchworth Heath (the very north-west corner of Hillingdon) to Uxbridge by bus.
- No account taken of the physical size and geography of the Borough, and its north-south road problems. The MOPAC consultation meeting suggested that the problem was so bad, especially when HS2 is factored in, that Hillingdon should have a north and a south station, even if only one of them has a public counter. The meeting suggested Uxbridge as the south station and Ruislip as the north station.
- Uxbridge had recently refurbished custody facilities, which are currently unused. Instead, custody facilities are in Polar Park Station, but this lies under the proposed third runway at Heathrow, so will not be available if that project goes ahead, leaving the Borough with no custody facilities. That means longer journeys for officers to take offenders into custody (and get back), more expense and time transferring prisoners from custody to the magistrates’ court (which is opposite Uxbridge Police Station), etc.
- Hayes End Police Station is old (1950’s?) and in poor repair. How are we going to fit all the officers and vehicles from Uxbridge, Ruislip, Hayes, etc. into such a small station?
- Where will police officers “parade” (ie. sign on and off for their shift)? If they have to go to Hayes End to start their shift it will take them an hour to get to their beats in the north of the Borough, and another hour to get back to sign off. They can’t take their tasers and CS gas home with them!
- Where will all the officers park? Where will all the police cars be stored?
MOPAC suggested that 101 and the Met’s website will replace much of the physical access to a police station, but the 101 system doesn’t work very well at present – many people at the meeting had given up trying to report crimes or problems on 101 after waiting twenty minutes on hold. Not everyone is comfortable with reporting things on the web.
Cllr Doug Mills made the Council’s view on these proposals quite clear, and that was they thought the plans totally unsuitable, for the reasons given above.
If the idea of only having Hayes as your local police station, please read the MOPAC proposals and give your opinions by filling in the questionnaire. Remember that responses must be made by the 6th October 2017.
You might also want to write to the Government Minister for Police and Fire Services, Nick Hurd MP, the member for Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner!*