Willesden Police Station
Got a call from a journalist wanting a view on the possibility of WIllesden Police Station closing. This is not a new item as I first heard about it in 2008 when the Met Police had a review of assets. The argument for closure has always been that the building is not fit for the purpose of modern policing and together with budget cuts, this is likely to remain the strongest argument against it staying open. The then Deputy Commissioner, Tim Goodwin, I quoted in my blog at the time (18/09/2008). He said at the time that they needed to save £48m. The force was facing "considerable pressure" which could see "unfit" police stations and custody suites replaced with front counters. Mark Toland, then Borough Commander, said there would be no closures before a suitable replacement building is fully established. For Harlesden and Willesden these new buildings need to be in high profile areas and readily accessible to local people. If there's a stark choice, I would rather see officer numbers maintained rather than unfit buildings and suspect this would be a view shared by a number of Willesden residents. Don't think buildings are the main issue. As I said to the journalist, the main issue should be the ease of access to the police at a local site and the quality of service received. There may be yet another "campaign" by opposition groups: we have had a few from saving post offices to saving festivals and police stations. Generated a lot of publicity but 'saved' nothing that I can recall.