This message was sent via the Bromley Neighbourhood Watch Association mailing service from Borough Commander – Bromley Police
I’m writing to you following the report published by MOPAC as a result of the recent public consultation on the Public Access and Engagement Strategy. The report details that the front counter provision for this borough will be at Bromley which will be staffed 24 hours and offer experienced face-to-face contact should it be required by our community
We have listened to concerns raised during the public consultation, including those sent directly to MOPAC, those raised at the Crime Summit in September and some that we have received locally.
For some time we’ve been speaking to the public and asking them how they want to access our services, they’ve told us that they need to be able to contact us in a way that’s flexible and more convenient to them, few people now visit a front counter with just eight percent of crime now reported there. It’s clear our services need to be more accessible and enhance engagement whilst enabling us to focus our resources where they’re most needed.
There are many options for people to access our services:
· We’ve redesigned our digital services, with the public now able to do much more online such as report a crime or get a response through Twitter.
· We’ve enhanced our telephone services so crime can be reported and initially investigated over the phone, with live call transfer coming to the 101 call centre (MetCC) to further speed up the process.
· Officers will be equipped with the mobile technology to bring services to the public, enabling them to be more visible in the community.
· By the end of this year, every London ward will have two dedicated ward officers and one PCSO.
· Contact sessions will be run in wards so the public can report crime, get crime prevention information and other advice.
· A 24 hour front counter will be available in each borough with enhanced digital facilities to enable a more efficient service.
· Where there is not a police building on or within close proximity to a DWO’s ward, we’ll be creating additional ‘hubs’ to enable them to remain out in the communities they police at locations that support operational policing.
Front counters: the 24/7 front counter will remain at Bromley. The front counters at West Wickham and Copperfield House will be closed in December and the entire buildings will be disposed of.
Financials: £59k pa revenue saving. Both West Wickham and Copperfield House are leasehold so will not generate capital receipts.
Proposed location of any retained Safer Neighbourhood Bases: none
Q and A
What’s going to happen in Bromley?
As set out in the draft public access strategy, West Wickham and Copperfield House Stations will close, with the borough’s 24/7 front counter provided at Bromley Police Station.
Why are you closing these front counters?
West Wickham Police Station receives fewer than three visitors on average per day. As we reduce the number of buildings we operate from, we will also reduce the number of front counters. We will however be improving the other ways the public can contact us: More dedicated ward officers, contact points in the right places, better telephone reporting, and a better online service. We will retain at least one 24/7 front counter in every borough.
Every borough will continue to have a front counter in a police station, open to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They will be modernised, more welcoming and easier to use.
When will the stations close?
West Wickham and Copperfield House Police Stations will close by the end of this year.
What about the Safer Neighbourhood Bases in the area?
The Safer Neighbourhood Bases in the borough will be closed, and we will identify new Dedicated Ward Officer hubs across the borough from which local officers can deploy. We are aiming, over the next three years, to roll out 150 of these DWO hubs across London, working on a general rule that DWOs should begin their shift no more than 20 minutes walking time away from the ward they patrol, with many much closer.
What do you say to Bromley residents about this decision?
We thank Bromley residents for the feedback they have given as part of the consultation.
But even if the budget wasn’t so tight we’d still be prioritising better equipped and mobile officers over expensive buildings so that we can deliver more for Londoners.
How can local residents get in touch with the police now their station is closing?
You can pick up the phone, you can contact the Met through their website, or at the 24/7 front counter in Bromley.
Most crime is not currently reported at police stations. Just 8 per cent of crimes were reported at police front counters in 2016, down from 22 per cent in 2006, and this number continues to fall.
This compares to around 70 per cent of crimes reported on the phone, while 37 per cent of Londoners say they would rather report crimes online.
As a key partner I wanted to inform you of the change in front counter provision but reassure you that the range of services available mean that the public are able to contact us when they need to. We are actively looking at identifying the DWO hubs at key locations across the Borough. We already have two DWOs and one PCSO in place in all 22 wards in Bromley who will continue to deliver community policing throughout this transition.
Borough Commander – Bromley Police
Metphone: 729951 Direct phone: 0208 284 9951
Mail: Bromley Police Station, High Street, Bromley,
Bromley Neighbourhood Watch Association – Find us on the Web at: www.bnwa.co.uk