Search

Camden and Islington police merger: Hampstead panel chairman slams Met tie-up trial

PUBLISHED: 15:11 21 February 2018 | UPDATED: 15:35 21 February 2018

Sgts Andy Catherwood and Ailsa Naish with Hampstead safer neighbourhood panel chairman Susan West. Picture: JON KING

Sgts Andy Catherwood and Ailsa Naish with Hampstead safer neighbourhood panel chairman Susan West. Picture: JON KING

Archant

The chairman of a community group charged with shining a spotlight on policing has attacked the merger of borough forces.

Neighbours, Hampstead Heath constables and Met officers attended the meeting at Hampstead Community Centre. Picture: JON KINGNeighbours, Hampstead Heath constables and Met officers attended the meeting at Hampstead Community Centre. Picture: JON KING

Speaking at a Hampstead safer neighbourhood panel meeting, Susan West slammed the tie-up between Camden and Islington police as a “rush job”.

At a packed public meeting in Hampstead Community Centre, Ms West said: “The merger was not properly evaluated.

“There was talk about nothing being done until the merger was discussed, but that didn’t happen. It was rushed through,” she added before describing the planning and management as poor.

Camden and Islington were among the first forces to share staff, buildings, vehicles and technology in a pilot scheme launched last year. Last week London mayor Sadiq Khan announced mergers will be rolled out across the capital, blaming government cuts to police budgets. The government says the Met will receive £2.5billion for 2018-2019 and has £240m in reserves. Officer numbers are also set to fall to 30,000 by April.

But the panel’s chairman said communities weren’t given a say when the merger’s success was measured. Ms West said: “Panels are a great way for the Met to engage with communities, but engagement with safer neighbourhood panels was non-existent. This was always going to get through regardless of how successful it was.”.

However, Sgt Andy Catherwood said acting borough commander Nick Davies would most likely argue the merger was a “great success” with a drop in the time taken to respond to emergencies and 90 percent of calls responded over the course of the trial.

During the meeting – attended by residents, members of the Heath constabulary and Hampstead bobbies – it emerged every ward in the north of Camden saw rises in reported crime numbers this January compared to February last year.

In Hampstead there were 10 more incidents, but in Haverstock ward crimes jumped from 100 to 133 over the same period. Crimes in West Hampstead leapt from 70 in February 2017 to 115 last month.

Pc Edward Bromilow said the “moped menace” fuelled the rises, but it was difficult for police in Hampsteadto make a difference because of insufficient training and resources. Most efforts are focused on prevention, he said.

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 17:39

The killers of Camden model Harry Uzoka have been jailed for a combined total of more than 60 years.

Yesterday, 14:33

High Court judge Sir Ross Cranston, who last week blocked Transport for London’s (TfL) plans to begin building the CS11 cycle superhighway in Swiss Cottage, has denied TfL permission to appeal his judicial review ruling.

Yesterday, 12:40

Seven months to the day after a single winter night saw two young men stabbed to death, Camden’s youth safety task force – led by Holborn and St Pancras MP Keir Starmer and Cllr Abdul Hai – last night recommended a series of measures to arrest the alarming upwards trend in youth violence in the borough.

Thu, 17:30

Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Ham&High readers this week.

There are more than 3,000 homeless families housed by Haringey Council in temporary accommodation in the borough and more than another 1,000 housed outside the borough according to Trust for London.

Thu, 15:23

A woman from Temple Fortune turned have-a-go-hero and chased a pair of criminals – causing them to drop a wad of stolen cash – after an elderly woman was robbed at a nearby cashpoint.

Thu, 13:15

Haringey Police are appealing for infomration after a 40 year old woman was sexually assaulted on a Muswell Hill Bus.

Thu, 12:53

Two rogue swans rapidly regretted the decision to land on the Hampstead Heath ponds when the resident swan family chased them off the water and left them “a bit battered” on a grass verge.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Looking to get your child interested in a sport? Allianz Park, home to rugby union team Saracens, welcomes people of all ages to join their family of supporters and discover how their core values Honesty, Discipline, Humility and Work Rate underpin everything they do off and on the pitch.

As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now