CORRINGHAM police station will remain closed as a working station despite calls for it to reopen.

Speaking at the full Thurrock Council meeting last night, Essex police’s assistant chief constable Maurice Mason said the situation dictated the closure in September 2011.

Essex Police closed the station as part of £2.5million cuts. It was hoped at the time the move would give Corringham and Stanford-le-Hope more police presence.

The front desk of the Gordon Road station though will reopen this year, enabling residents to report crime face-to-face.

Mr Mason said he’ll increase police visibility in the town after councillors raised their concerns that the closure coupled with the lack of a police presence was worrying residents.

Mr Mason said: “I don’t want to close any police station but the situation dictates that we must look if it is affective to keep stations open.

“I know it’s an emotive issue, and I know it’s important, and that leads me on to visibility. The station is a representation of that visibility but I believe there are things we can do to provide that service.

“We don’t want to let people down and we’ll do all we can to increase visibility in the area even though the station is closed.”

The meeting also highlighted figures showing a 28 per cent rise in hate crime in the borough. Of that figure, 81 percent is race related.

Councillor Lynn Worrall, in charge of communities, asked Mr Mason and chief superintendent Andy Prophet, who was also at the meeting, what they were going to do to halt the figure.

She said: “What are the police going to do to make our residents feel safe? We’ve got a problem with it and want the police to tackle it.

Mr Mason responded: “Hate crime is one area I want to get under control, but I think we are getting our act together with it, and we’re getting people in different communities to prioritise these matters.”