Front counter at Harlesden Police Station earmarked for closure

Proposal sparks fears the building could be axed altogether

The front counter at another police station in the borough has been earmarked for closure, sparking fears the station will close completely.

The move to shut down the front counter at Harlesden Police Station (HPS) comes as part of the Metropolitan Police Services’ (MPS) plans to review front counters, which are normally used for reporting crime, and assessing how effectively they are used.

It is the second casualty to strike police stations in the borough within a matter of weeks following the news that Willesden Green Police Station, in High Road, Willesden, would definitely be closing.

Navin Shah, London Assembly member for Brent and Harrow, told the Times, he feared HPS, in Craven Park, would go the same way.

He said: “Closing the front counter is a thin end of the wedge.

“My worry is that eventually the police station itself will be sold for commercial gain, risking local safety and crime reporting.

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“I cannot support the closure as police presence in the area is about reassurance of people and accessibility for the community to report crime locally.”

The safety of Harlesden residents has already been thrown into doubt after leaked documents from the London Fire Brigade also revealed its fire station, in Waxlow Road, could face closure as part of plans to save �65m. Mr Shah added: “I’m taking this issue up with the Mayor of London at the London Assembly as well as with Brent Police to fight against the closure plans.”

However, a spokesman for Brent Police insisted no final decision had been taken on its closure and that the other two stations, in Kilburn and Wembley, would be increasing their opening hours.

He said: “There will be at least one police station in Brent which will provide access for the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“These 24-hour front counters will be improved to provide a better service for the public and will eventually include, for example, initial contact kiosks to provide instant access translation for the public.

“We will also provide a greater presence in London’s communities, with more officers assigned to Safer Neighbourhoods Teams and more surgeries being held in popular locations.”