POLICE are to press ahead and close Wood Farm police base despite residents’ fears about crime.

The PCSO office in Atkyns Road is to shut in the next two months, with officers relocated to Cowley police station.

But people on the estate are worried that a recent violent burglary heralds a rise in crime if there is no visible police presence in the area.

A member of staff at the Atkyns Road Co-op was assaulted during a burglary earlier this month.

Atkyns Road resident, Warwick Peters, said he was worried that criminals would flock to the estate knowing PCSOs would have further travel to attend incidents.

He added that many locals felt they were getting a raw deal with the closure.

Although police offices in Blackbird Leys and Rose Hill are also to shut, both will get replacements.

The 76-year-old former Mini plant worker said: “I could not believe it when I read they were planning on closing it.

“No one around here thinks it will mean more PCSOs on the streets, and it’s not as if the criminals are afraid of them now.

“We do have a growing problem with gangs here and this will only make the problem worse.

“I think it’s wrong that Blackbird Leys and Rose Hill get to keep their PCSOs and we lose ours.”

Thames Valley Police said shutting the Wood Farm base will save £14,000 a year with “no loss of service”.

Another Atkyns Road resident, who asked not to be named, said: “The robbery in the Co-op shook a lot of people up, and we think we’re going to see more of this.

“We really want the police to listen, and keep the officers here.”

Thames Valley Police spokeswoman Rhianne Pope said: “The current strategy is to relocate the small Wood Farm team to Cowley Police Station later this year, and sell the current office. The police station is not far away and there is not envisaged to be any reduction in service delivery to Wood Farm as a consequence.

“We are still in detailed discussions on a number of options and expect a resolution shortly to ensure Thames Valley Police can remain in Blackbird Leys.

“The landlord of the current office has confirmed that officers can stay where they are until the new office is set up, if that goes beyond the current lease expiry in July.”

The Co-op in Atkyns Road was burgled at 6.15pm on Thursday, May 16.

Miss Pope said: “A man entered the shop and asked for a box of matches. When a staff member opened the till, the offender grabbed money and tried to leave.

“He assaulted a staff member who tried to stop him and left with an amount of cash.”

No arrests have yet been made.