Police front counter. Since the closure of the Muswell Hill Police counter by the Conservative Mayor last year, I have been campaigning for a new police front counter in the area – and now that campaign is on the brink of success thanks to the generosity of the local cinema.
The closure of the old counter was forced through despite vehement criticism of the plans, from me, the local Liberal Democrats and a great number of residents. We all hope never to have to report a crime – but it’s reassuring to know that a local police contact point is there, if you needed it. As a victim of crime, meeting face to face with local police who know and understand the area is so important in making people feel secure – so it was incredibly concerning that such a vital public resource was taken away from us by Boris from the comfort of City Hall.
That’s why residents and I pushed so hard. We signed petitions calling for a replacement, met with local top cops and kept up the pressure. It was relentless campaigning, but it now looks like it will have all been worth it! Support from residents in the area has been overwhelming and the Borough Commander confirmed that he would be willing to maintain a front counter presence in Muswell Hill if a suitable alternative location could be found.
It has taken a while but, as you can imagine, I was delighted to hear that at a recent Police panel meeting, police representatives revealed that plans to put a front counter in the Odeon complex in Muswell Hill are now in their final stages.
I popped down to the cinema to take a look at the space for the new counter and the Odeon is a fantastic location – a warm and safe environment in the heart of Muswell Hill. There are still some final decisions to be made before the counter is given a full green light – but the signs are good and I have my fingers firmly crossed.
This project is a real community effort – from the people who signed the Lib Dem petition to the volunteers who will run the counter once it is given the final go ahead – and it shows what people power can do. I would like to thank everyone who has shown their support, and the Odeon for their hard work in facilitating a new counter. I am very much looking forward to seeing it open!