Half of London's police stations could be closed


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Indy Politics

Nearly half of Scotland Yard's police stations could be closed as the force embarks on savage spending cuts to save £500m.

The force plans to reduce the number of stations in the capital from 133 to 71 but open desks in supermarkets and libraries to allow people to report crime.

The Met has already announced plans to close its headquarters at New Scotland Yard and move to another site under the cost-cutting proposals.

The force first announced the plans in October to close the 65 least-used counters as crimes are increasingly reported online or by phone.

"Our wider plans will also allow us to visit more victims of crime at home or [in the] workplace thus reducing the need for them to come to us," said Scotland Yard.

The final decision will be made by the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime. No decisions have been made but Boris Johnson, pictured, has already pledged "at least" one 24-hour police station in each borough. He also promised that the police station in Tottenham will not close.

Tottenham was the scene of summer riots that spread to the rest of the country and the local MP, David Lammy, had voiced fears that it was destined for the chop.

Joanne McCartney, Labour's policing spokesman in London, said: "The Mayor told us there would be a full public consultation on police station and front-counter closures.

"It now appears they have already decided what is to be closed before they have spoken to the public and heard from the local communities affected.

"These planned closures will leave large gaps across the capital, making it much more difficult for Londoners to report crimes."