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After a trip across the pond – during which he learned he would be subject to two new police reviews over his adherence to Covid restrictions – Boris Johnson has been filmed in his Uxbridge and South Ruislip constituency, speaking out about the planned closure of a local police station.
In a Twitter video released on Saturday, the Tory MP said: “I have been opposed to the closure of this police station from the outset. Conservatives in Uxbridge and South Ruislip, Conservatives in Hillingdon – the council – have been leading the charge against Sadiq Khan’s decision to try to close this police station.
“It’s completely the wrong thing to do. Everybody can see that it’s the perfect location for a police station in Uxbridge.
“It’s right by the town centre. It gives the police all the access they need, to the people they need, to make feel secure in the way that they do – to get out on the street in the way that we want them to do.
“What we don’t want is for Sadiq Khan and Labour to get away with the closure of this police station. So we’re going to fight, fight, fight to keep Uxbridge police station open – that’s what we need to do.”
\u201cIt's time that Sadiq Khan ends the uncertainty and commits to retaining Uxbridge Police Station -- it's purpose built, in the right location, and needs to stay open in the best interests of Uxbridge and the West London area.\u201d
Not only that, but the former Mayor of London claimed he “put the funding into policing” when he had Mr Khan’s job, and when he was prime minister before a string of successive scandals forced him out of office.
Except, that comment doesn’t exactly paint the full picture (Mr Johnson is being inaccurate again? We can’t believe it either…)
The Independent reported back in 2017 – when Mr Johnson issued another tweet criticising the planned closure – that the policy of shutting police stations was introduced in 2013, when he was Mayor of London.
In fact, Mr Johnson said at the time: “Londoners have repeatedly told us that putting more officers on the streets is their top priority, not keeping them hidden behind desks in offices which the public rarely set foot in.”
Other comments from the then Mayor included: “Sometimes I think police front counters haven’t been well used. People don’t want to report a crime there.
“A lot of people find a police station intimidating. They are becoming less and less central to our thinking.”
Well, they’re not exactly meant to be warm and bubbly environments, are they, Boris?
Anyway, after Mr Johnson left office to be an MP, current Mayor Sadiq Khan kept the policy in a bid to save £400m by 2021 – with Uxbridge police station one of those marked for closure.
Thankfully, people were on hand to point out the cause of his current frustration – him and the Tories – in the replies:
\u201cI recall the policy to close 65 London police stations was introduced in 2013 by the Mayor of London at the time.\n\nHis name was Boris Johnson not Sadiq Khan\n\nHe then complained about planned Uxbridge closure in 2017 \ud83e\udd37\ud83c\udffb\u200d\u2640\ufe0f\n\n(Our station was closed in 2016 because of huge budget cuts)\u201d
— Saltburn by the Sea (@Saltburn by the Sea)
\u201cYou closed most of them when YOU was mayor\u201d
— \ud83d\udd30 Dr DrillChester MBiol,PhD (@\ud83d\udd30 Dr DrillChester MBiol,PhD)
\u201cNarrator: The decision to shut 65 local London police stations was made in 2013 by the Mayor of London at the time.\n\nHis name was Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson not Sadiq Khan.\u201d
\u201cNarrator: "In 2013, 62 police stations were closed in Metropolitan Police areas. Boris Johnson was 5 years into his 8 year term as London mayor."\n\nHere's the relevant FOI...\nhttps://t.co/xVvxnFXmvm\u201d
\u201cHundreds of Police Stations Have Shut Under the Conservatives \u2013 at a Cost of Rising Crime\n\nTwo-thirds of police stations in England have closed since 2010. A new study digs into the dire consequences\n\nhttps://t.co/aXcin6xpRA\u201d