Only one police front counter will remain open to the public in Southwark, the Mayor of London has confirmed.
Sadiq Khan today, Wednesday, announced he would push through plans which will see just one 24-hour police front counter remain open in every borough of London.
Just eight per cent of crimes are said to have been reported at police front counters in 2016, down from 22 per cent in 2006.
Walworth police station will remain open to the public 24/7, while the front counters at Peckham and Southwark stations will close in December.
In addition, Kennington will be sold off and officers at Rotherhithe station will move into a purpose-built base behind Seven Islands Leisure Centre.
Under the plans, 37 London police stations face imminent closure, while other buildings used by the police will be sold off to help raise £165 million in capital.
The move is expected to save £8million a year – the equivalent of 140 police constables.
Mr Khan said he was left with “no choice but to take drastic action” following government cuts to policing.
Since 2010, the Metropolitan Police’s budget has been reduced by £600 million. A further £400 million of savings have to be found by 2021.
By the end of this year, every London ward will have two dedicated ward officers and one PCSO based in hubs closer to the ward and community they patrol.
Officers will patrol in crime hotspot areas so they can reach the scene of emergencies quickly, said the Mayor.
“Keeping Londoners safe is my number one priority, and supporting officers out on the beat in our communities is more important than keeping open buildings that are simply not used by the vast majority of the public, and where just eight per cent of crimes are reported,” said Mr Khan.
“Nevertheless, I understand and share some of the very legitimate concerns of Londoners about these closures. That is why we held the widest possible consultation with public meetings in every London borough and we have listened very carefully to the feedback.
“I am confident that these final plans maintain the best possible service for Londoners, and will provide the access to the police that they need – especially in an emergency.”
Cressida Dick, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, added: “We know that the ways in which the public want to contact us have changed, so we absolutely must continue to transform, focusing on serving the public as best we can.
“Of course we know there will be some people who need to speak to a police officer face to face, and there are still many ways in which they can do that.”