Police Victory – Conservative pressure leads to Eltham Police commitment

By | November 26, 2021

Pressure from local Conservative Councillors has resulted in the Labour Council finally agreeing to help find space for local police teams in Eltham, after the Borough Police Commander described the lack of facilities in the Town Centre for them to use during their shifts as “ridiculous”.

His comments and the Labour U-turn came during a meeting of the Full Council in Greenwich this week. In response to a question from the Deputy Leader of the Conservative Group, Charlie Davis, regarding whether the Police would accept an offer from the Council for officers to use space at the Council’s Eltham Centre, the Borough Commander, Chief Superintendent Trevor Lawry said:

“Yes, certainly… What I want to do is have a series of places police officers can go within their local community.. Because that is how you get a presence within the community.”

The Borough Commander went on to set out his plan for piloting new collaborative relationships between the police and other public service and business partners. He agreed the situation following the closure of Eltham Police Station is causing problems:

“One of the things that struck me when I was speaking to officers at Eltham. Getting to Eltham is not a problem, but they have to go back to the police station to go to the toilet, that’s just ridiculous… (so) Absolutely in support of that, if it works well in Eltham, we’ll look to roll it out across the Borough.”

The announcement of the new partnership model marks a victory for local Conservatives who have campaigned to maintain a permanent police presence in Eltham ever since the closure of the Police Station was announced by Labour Mayor Sadiq Khan in 2017. 

It also marks a welcome U-turn from Labour-run Greenwich Council who as recently as last month rejected a motion from local Conservatives calling on the Council to offer a space at the Eltham Centre for officers to use. Speaking following the announcement, Councillor Charlie Davis said:

“This is really welcome news from the Borough Commander, and I’m pleased to see that Greenwich Council have again decided to adopt policies put forward by local Conservative Councillors. Anti-social behaviour and crime are a major concern for residents here in Eltham, committing to helping ensure a permanent police presence remains in the South of the Borough will help to address these concerns in a collaborative way.”

Councillor Nigel Fletcher, Leader of Greenwich Conservatives, added:

“This is a victory for common sense and for the campaigning of my colleagues in Eltham who have pursued this issue relentlessly. The Borough Commander has rightly said the lack of facilities for officers during their shifts is ridiculous, and I hope that the Council will now step up to support local officers in this new partnership.”

Charlie outside Eltham Police Station which is now up for sale

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