217 police stations and counters across England have closed since 2015, shocking new figures uncovered by the Liberal Democrats have revealed.
It’s the equivalent of over one police station closing every two weeks in the past seven years under the Conservatives.
The figures were obtained by the Liberal Democrats through FOI requests to every police force in England and Wales, with responses
London and the South East, in particular, have seen a staggering fall in the number of police stations. Thames Valley Police, responsible for policing in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire, has closed the most locations, with 23 stations and 44 counters closed since 2015. This includes 41 closures in 2016 alone.
The Metropolitan Police is second in the country on stations closed, with 36 since 2015 – 31 of them in 2017.
Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey will tomorrow (Tuesday 26 April) visit the site of a closed police station in Oxfordshire to demand more investment in community policing.
Across England and Wales a total of 217 police stations and counters have been closed in the last seven years, with an average of 31 closures a year since 2015 – more than one per fortnight.
Ahead of the local elections this May, the Liberal Democrats are urging a return to community policing, with a three-point plan to crack down on crime and anti-social behaviour and reverse years of Conservative neglect:
Restore proper community policing, where officers are more visible, trusted and known personally to local people.
Reverse Conservative cuts to youth services by investing an extra £500 million a year via a ring-fenced fund to Local Authorities
Scrap Police and Crime Commissioners and use the £50 million savings to invest in frontline policing and solving crimes.
Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey MP said: “Shuttered police stations have become a symbol of the Conservatives’ failure on crime. Too many people feel unsafe on their own streets, and too many criminals are getting away with it.
“The Liberal Democrats are calling for a return to proper community policing, where officers are visible, trusted and focused on cutting crime.
“This May people will have a chance to send Boris Johnson’s Conservatives a message. A vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote for more investment in our police and youth services to help make our communities safer.”