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Local people are being urged to attend this evening's consultation roadshow at Hammersmith Town Hall, when representatives of MOPAC - the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime - led by former Hammersmith and Fulham Council Leader Stephen Greenhalgh will discuss their plans for the future of policing in London.

The roadshow is taking place at Hammersmith Town Hall today, Tuesday February 5 from 6pm to 7pm. You can book a place at this event by registering online.

The timing of the meeting has been criticised by Labour London Assembly Member Nicky Gavron for being too short and not giving local people enough time to give their views.

However, she added: " I encourage all residents to attend this consultation session and exercise their right be heard about how they want policing in London to look in the future. This is their chance to make their voices heard."

Hammersmith and Fulham Council has welcomed the plans, which it says would mean 92 more Safer Neighbourhood officers in the borough and also urges residents to attend the meeting.

Last month, MOPAC published its draft Police and Crime Plan, which confirmed that it intends closing the front counter at Shepherd's Bush Green Police Station and limiting opening hours in Fulham.

That would leave Hammersmith as the only police station in the borough offering 24 hour public access.

The closures are part of a Metropolitan Police cost cutting plans which would include the closure of 65 front counters across the capital and the sale of 200 buildings. 1,500 police staff would also lose their jobs in the plan, which aims to reduce the Met's annual buget by £500 million.

As we reported in November the plans were first revealed when Borough Commander Lucy D'Orsi wrote to "key borough stakeholders" to ask for their views.

In the letter she said: " One of the functions that warranted officers have been deployed to, on a daily basis, is front counters at Shepherd's Bush Green, Hammersmith and Fulham Police Stations.

" This has been the case for many years despite the fact that technology, ward surgeries, Social Media (Twitter/Facebook) and 101 has enhanced and altered the way communities and victims access policing services.

" Front counters are part of the MPS and Borough’s public access strategy but obviously they are only one part of it with the web, SNT’s and social media being some of the other strands. Currently, Fulham and Hammersmith Police Station are open 24 hours and Shepherd's Bush Green is open from 7am to 10pm.

" The demand for front counter policing services at all of these locations is very low but to staff them requires eight Police Officers a day. Occasionally that reduces if we have civilian staff completing the function.

" The MPS and therefore the Borough must change the way it delivers its services to modernise, become more responsive and put the public at the heart of what it does. With this in mind below is a proposal around front counters locally as follows:

· Hammersmith Police Station – remain 24h hours. Currently this has the highest footfall and is located within the centre of the Borough.
· Fulham Police Station – reduced opening hours.
· Shepherds Bush Green - close."

The letter went on to suggest that police should instead have new public contact points away from stations, in locations such as the town hall, supermarkets and libraries. It concluded : " At this stage we are not intending to close Fulham or Shepherd's Bush Police Station and operational officers will still operate out of both locations."

Full details of the plans for our borough can be found here.



February 5, 2013