Thanet South MP Laura Sandys (Cons) accuses local Labour party members of scare-mongering with claims that Ramsgate Police Station could close.
Ramsgate MP Laura Sandys has dismissed local Labour party claims that the town’s police station is at risk of closure in the next 12 months.
She accused it of scare-mongering and added that she has received “direct assurances” from Thanet’s district commander, Chief Superintendent Nick Gossett, that there are “no plans to close Ramsgate’s police station”.
Labour claim the lease on the station expires within the next 12 months and say local people fear it could close. A petition has received more than 500 signatures.
Conservative Ms Sandys added: “There is absolutely no foundation in the rumour. I am extremely surprised and rather appalled to hear about this sort of campaigning.
“This scaremongering is extremely unfair on local residents who will understandably be as concerned as I was to hear about this.”
The Labour Party started a campaign to save the local police station and bring back bobbies on the beat after its members said it was revealed at a meeting earlier this month with the police that there are no full-time officers based in Ramsgate, despite there being a more than 20% increase in crime in the two town-centre wards in the past 12 months.
Central Harbour ward Labour councillors Peter Campbell, Mary Dwyer and Corinna Huxley are leading the campaign after repeated calls from residents and shopkeepers about the rise in anti-social behaviour.
Cllr Campbell said: “We need community police based in Ramsgate, working with local people and shopkeepers, to prevent anti-social crime.
“Waiting for police to arrive from Margate police station is unacceptable.”
Labour's parliamentary candidate for South Thanet, district and county councillor Will Scobie, who is urging people to sign a petition against any closure of Ramsgate Police Station.
Cllr Huxley said: “We’ve had a fantastic response to the petition and people are very eager to sign it. More than 600 police stations have closed across Britain since 2010 and we don’t want Ramsgate to be next.”
“In a town of more than 40,000 people, not having a police station or any police officers based in Ramsgate is putting the safety of everyone at risk and making the job harder.”
Labour’s parliamentary candidate for South Thanet, Cllr Will Scobie, said: “Across the district crime is up by around 4% and in parts of Ramsgate it’s up by more than 20%, when the funding to the police is falling.” The petition is available to sign in many of the shops in Ramsgate town centre.
A police spokesman said: “No decision has been made to close Ramsgate police station.
“All of our estate across Kent is constantly under review to ensure that it is cost efficient and meets the needs of the public and operational policing.
“That has always been the case and will continue to be so because it is sound business practice.”