Leader calls for judicial review of “unlawful’’ police station consultation
Havering Council has threatened to seek Judicial Review against the MOPAC and the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service, in respect of their decision to close police buildings.
Last year, the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC carried out a consultation on the closure of both Hornchurch and Rainham police stations, along with all Safer Neighbourhood bases (apart from Elm Park), and reached a decision to close these sites.
Since then, Councillor Roger Ramsey, leader of Havering Council, has sent a letter to MOPAC and the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service demanding that they reconsider the closures and withdraw the decision to close the public access points across the borough.
Havering Council is challenging both the Mayor’s Office and the Metropolitan Police Service on the grounds that the consultation was unlawful and that they failed to comply with the public sector equality duty.
Councillor Ramsey, said:
“The outcome of MOPAC’s consultation was unacceptable, and the process was even worse. We are advised that it was unlawful which is why I have approved a claim for judicial review. To start off with, the consultation was unlawful because decisions had already been made before the consultation started. The language used in the consultation such as “choices like this are inevitable” demonstrates that regardless of what was said during the consultation – a decision had already been made.
MOPAC also failed to provide sufficient information to consultees to enable them to make an intelligent response. There was no indication of the costs of the current police buildings or their replacement which meant that consultees were not in a position to compare costs and make an informed response.
On top of this, by law, both MOPAC and the Commissioner must comply with the public sector equality duty. They failed to do this, and were not aware of the impact of the decision on residents of Havering (which has the oldest population in London). Older residents may feel more comfortable having face-to-face contact with police at the existing buildings. Older and disabled residents may have a greater difficulty in accessing the one remaining police station in Romford.”