A month after The Chronicle reported that police were paying rent on an empty building in Thornton Heath they left five years ago – they have suddenly decided to move back in.
The police station which opened in 2010, was once home to the Safer Neighbourhood Teams covering Thornton Heath and surrounding areas. Though it never offered a front counter service for the public, it provided facilities for over 30 officers that worked as part of the Safer Neighbourhood Teams.
In 2013 in a bid to cut costs the police moved to Gipsy Hill police station in Lambeth. However, the cash strapped Met carried on paying out rent for the empty building on the corner of Parchmore Road.
According to the managing agents the lease for a year’s commercial rent is £60,000 so times that by five and the cash strapped Met has potentially been paying as much as £300,000 for an unused building.
The Chronicle understands that police in Lambeth want the space back at Gipsy Hill so are kicking out the Croydon teams.
The SNT teams set to move back in cover: Thornton Heath, South Norwood, Bensham Manor and Upper Norwood.
The good news for residents in Thornton Heath is that having a police presence at the heart of Thornton Heath is likely to mean the amount of anti social behaviour in and around the High Street and Woodville Road will be severely curtailed. Tesco are understood to be ‘really pleased’ about the news given the amount of begging and general anti social behaviour around the store along with high levels of shoplifting.
However it may take some time to move back in as the Met took out all the phone lines, furniture and the internal swipes no longer work. The Met lease on the building expires in June 2020.