Neither Wimbledon nor Mitcham police station immune from closure
Either of Merton’s police stations is vulnerable to being closed down and sold off, as the Met continues to find ways of making savings.
The borough commander, Detective Chief Superintendent Darren Williams, said Merton police would still come under pressure to find savings despite staff having fallen by 10 per cent in the last two years.
Merton police currently employs 284 people, compared to 332 in October 2010, although the number of detectives, or Criminal Investigations Department staff (CID), has actually risen - from 56 to 68 - in the same period.
Det Chief Supt Williams said he was currently looking at how Merton can share more of its services with neighbouring boroughs, particularly Sutton police, but would not be drawn into specifics.
He said: “We are looking at what we can take out but still provide the same levels of services. For me I have got to start thinking about police stations versus officers.
“I will be saying to people, if it comes down to choosing between 300 officers versus a police station, what do you think is the more important?”
Concerns about Mitcham police station’s closure were raised last year by councillors including Jeff Hanna, who warned people in Pollards Hill, Mitcham, would have to travel for an hour to Wimbledon to get help.
He said: “This is totally unacceptable, especially for vulnerable residents.
"People have a right to know their local police stations are under threat, and should call councillors, MPs, the mayor and police to lobby for police stations to be kept open.”
But this week, the borough commander said Wimbledon could be closed instead of Mitcham.
He said: “It may be that it makes more sense to close Wimbledon simply because of the real estate value - the station is right in the town centre, next to Centre Court [shopping centre] and major transport links.”