Chiswick Police Station Closure Date Announced

Met claim shutting front counter will save over £300,000 a year


Report Recommending Station Closures

Memorial Park Bench Removed From Chiswick Common

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The date for the closure of Chiswick Police Station has been announced. The front counter at the station will no longer be open to the public from the end of the calendar year, December 2017.

The police say this will save over £300,000 a year. The building, which is currently leased by the Met, is likely to be sold but it is not known when. Police officers from Hammersmith & Fulham are to remain there until 2019/2020 while the Hammersmith station is being renovated.

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At the recent Chiswick Area Forum meeting, Borough Commander Raj Kohli said the station was likely to fetch over £7 million. However, it is not clear who actually owns the building which has a large car-park behind it. Some local reports suggest that it is owned by the Fire Brigade.

As yet it is unclear where the designated 'police hubs' will be where the Safer Neighbourhood Teams will be based. The Borough Commander has said he is currently working with the Property Services Department to work out where a Dedicated Ward Officer (DWO) base might be placed in the Chiswick area to maximise visibility and accessibility.

Some locals have expressed concern about the time it will take the Rapid Response Unit, based in Feltham, to access Chiswick, and whether the cycle superhighway, the Cs9, might affect response times if traffic is slowed along the Chiswick High Road.

Borough Commander Kohli has said that Hammersmith Police Station will eventually re-open in around 18 months time and "there will remain a significant policing presence in the area" until then. It is unclear whether H&F officers are tasked with responding to incidents in the Chiswick area during this time or will respond only if they have time.

A designated Police Inspector, Dee O Brien has been appointed to Chiswick to problem-solve the issues around anti-social behaviour. We have asked when the new Inspector is likely to start the role, given the public disquiet over a perceived increase in these incidents.

A public meeting is to be arranged by Chief Inspector Wayne Matthews later this month to discuss the recent crime and disorder concerns and the topic of the closure of the front counter.

Eventually, Chiswick is to be part of a triborough arrangement, expected to be Hounslow, Ealing and Hillingdon, with a designated triborough commander.

The immediate plans are for two dedicated ward officers and one PCSO for each ward. There are currently two vacancies to be filled. It is thought that Chiswick Town Hall and the fire station might be alternative venues for officers and that is being looked at as an option.

Local Safer Neighbourhood Teams have for many months been holding sessions of 'Cuppa With A Copper' in cafes and supermarkets as a point of contact with local residents.

A report by the Mayor's Office into the future of policing in the capital had recommended that Chiswick police station be closed and the building sold off as part of its programme of cutbacks across the capital. Over half the stations in London, 40 out of 73, are to have front counters closed in one of the most radical changes in policing undertaken in the capital.

Borough Commander Kohli said that only 1.2 crimes per day were being reported at the front desk in Chiswick. The figures "simply do not stack up" to retain the front counter service in Chiswick he said.

The Chiswick station avoided closure in 2013 when the then Mayor Boris Johnson instituted a range of cutbacks but it ceased to operate on a 24 hour basis and Hounslow became the centre for policing in the borough. Hounslow will still remain the only 24-hour station in which people can report to the front office, but online and telephone reporting is now more the norm as the use of technology increases.

In the past three years, over 70% of crime is reported by phone compared to 8 per cent at front counters.

November 4, 2017

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