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Residents victory over proposed Police custody suite

NewsLocal resident opposition had been mounting over proposals to add a 30 cell custody suite to Teddington Police Station but today the Metropolitan Police Authority committed itself to finding a more satisfactory location elsewhere in South West London.

Interest in the public meeting on January 22nd was so overwhelming that the Church hall capacity was soon full as was an overflow area next door. The 500 residents that did manage to squeeze into the venue (as well as the other 100 or so turned away) certainly left the proposers in no doubt about the strength of opposition from locals.

Some of the main objections to the plans were the closeness to the centre of Teddington for the detainees to be released into on a daily basis, the fact that 80% of the arrests for this area happen on the other side of the Thames (and lack of bridges makes journey times greater) and also the fact that adding to the existing Police Station building would also add longevity to the already aged and quite frankly ugly office building.

MP Vincent Cable, Cllr James Munford and Teddington Societies Lady Hilton all spoke of their objections to the proposals. Mike Patten spoke on behalf of the Teddington Action Group and cited the closeness of private housing to the proposed location). He also spoke of how the public consultation was seriously flawed and that the ill-conceived plan should be completely re-thought.

Common sense finally prevailed and the decision was made not only to rethink the location but to also consider how public consultations on such matters should be held in the future:

“While the Authority fully endorses the need to modernise the police estate across London, and specifically recognises the need to enhance our custody facilities, we also recognise the fundamental need to consult local residents about proposed changes and the effect on the immediate area. This was not satisfactorily carried out in Teddington – indeed, the way this entire issue was handled locally can serve as an object lesson in how not to consult”


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