According to the ‘Asset Management Plan’ report published by the Metropolitan Police in November 2007, police buildings have to be modernised to provide a more accessible, flexible and effective police service. The report claims that proposed changes to police buildings will improve policing by increasing public accessibility, maximising the use of space, providing a modern environment for flexible working, providing a more pleasant environment for the public. It also seeks to encourage more effective joint working through co-location with other agencies such as libraries and leisure centres.
The Property Strategy report by Ealing Council (Oct 2006), on the other hand is more forthright when it states
The police operate from former houses in Hanwell and Norwood Green and more suitable premises are sought in both areas for neighbourhood policing.
The Norwood Green Police Station, a locally listed building, was built in 1889 on the site of the old Manor Farm, and was bequeathed to the police force, on the condition that it should always remain as a Police Station and not be sold off. But all indications are that Norwood Green Police station is in line for the hatchet. It would be interesting to learn how the Metropolitan Police have managed to circumvent this original condition that the building was to always remain with the police force.
We are of the opinion that public bodies such as the Metropolitan police have a moral responsibility to asses the impact of their actions in the longer term, and not just in terms of financial efficiency. The scope of the assesement has to be wider, and include effects such as the potential impact on the quality of life of local residents. While a review of assets and financing to improve service efficiency is a good thing, we hope the pressure to save money is not the overriding factor. If put up for sale, it is likely that the building would be acquired by a property developer to build flats. In response to residents concerns about the possible sale of Norwood Green Police station, Ian Jenkins from the Metropolitan Police has said that
“Norwood Green is highlighted as a premises we would consider moving from once, and if a suitable viable alternative is found which affords accessibility, visibility and improves policing for the community and the Safer Neighbourhood Teams. This proposal could take place, with or without the sale of Norwood Green Police Station”
The West London Neighbourhood Group have also written a response to the Police Estate Management Plan for Ealing which can be read here. Two articles published by Ealing Times can be read here and here. It is imperetive that the Metropolital Police share their vision of alternative policing provision before any moves to sell of Norwood Green Police Station are taken.
You can email comments to Ealing police at firstname.lastname@example.org or post them to Ealing Police Station, 67-69 Uxbridge Road, Ealing or by phone on 0208 246 9472.