Closure threat to police station

[from Islington Gazette]

Closure threat to police station
06 February 2008
UNDER THREAT – Holloway police station
UNDER THREAT – Holloway police station

HOLLOWAY police station could be closed under controversial modernisation plans.

The Hornsey Road station – which sits on the edge of the crime-ridden Andover Estate in Islington’s most deprived ward, Tollington – is manned 24-hours-a-day 365 days a year.

Along with Islington police station, in Tolpuddle Street, near the Angel, it is one of only two fully functioning police stations in the borough.

But its future is now under threat after the police announced a review into their estate, which also includes an officer base at Highbury Vale station, in Blackstock Road, Finsbury Park.

A police spokesman said: “The review will assess the suitability of Holloway and Highbury Vale stations and whether more modern facilities could be provided elsewhere. Both stations are small and out of date and are not conducive to modern policing. They do not support the latest technologies and it is difficult to make them accessible to the community.

“The 24-hour facility at Holloway is hardly used. Staffing through the night means a waste of resources.”

The police insist that closures are “by no means definite” and nothing will be decided until they’ve heard everyone’s views.

They also promise that nothing would be shut before better alternative facilities are fully operational.

But the announcement has caused a storm of controversy.

Islington north MP Jeremy Corbyn said: “I’m amazed and concerned. We have made huge progress with Safer Neighbourhoods policing by bearing down on crime at a local level.

“It’s at odds with these improvements to then close stations which are a visible face and a convenient place for showing documents or making statements. To expect everyone to go to Tolpuddle Street is unreasonable.”

Theresa Coyle, manager of the Andover Community Centre and who sits on the Tollington Safer Neighbour-hoods panel, said: “We don’t welcome it. We are the most deprived ward in the borough and we have huge problems with crime. Our community centre has been burgled 10 times in the past four years alone.

“We hardly see any police on the estate except when they walk between the station and the Tube, so we don’t want to lose that.”

Council leader James Kempton said: “We won a campaign to keep the front desk at Holloway open in 2006. Whatever happens must improve services, not cut them. One desk for the borough would not be acceptable.”

Police stations in Upper Street, Blackstock Road, King’s Cross Road and Caledonian Road have all closed.


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