My statement on Barking Police Station

This morning, the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime announced  its ‘Public Access Strategy’ with the news that Dagenham Police Station will stay open.

I know many of you will be pleased by this announcement but it comes with a major caveat – as a consequence we may lose our police station at the Barking Learning Centre.

This proposal is completely outrageous and totally unacceptable. By deciding to keep the Dagenham station open and then consulting on closing the Barking Town centre presence the Metropolitan Police are simply robbing Peter to pay Paul.

Sadly it’s a pyrrhic victory for Dagenham at the expense of no service for Barking.

This is not on. It is not fair and it won’t help the fight against crime.

The crime statistics show that crime is concentrated in the South of the Borough, in Abbey and Thames Ward.

As many of you know, it takes up to half an hour to drive to East Dagenham to report a crime from these parts of the borough  – and many of our residents are elderly, vulnerable and do not have a car.

The police are supposed to provide a service for people who pay for it through their taxes and their council taxes.

As I have told the press this morning, issuing an eviction order on our Barking Town Centre Police Station may serve the police interest but it doesn’t serve the public interest.

I am calling on the Metropolitan Police to think again and for Barking and Dagenham Council to withdraw their offer to fund and house the police in a redeveloped facility in East Dagenham until the Police agree an acceptable service for all the people in Barking and Dagenham.