A newly elected Camden Labour councillor says crime and antisocial behaviour is a "big area" for him - but others have challenged his party's record.

Voters went to the polls in a South Hampstead by-election on June 1, with social worker Tommy Gale holding the seat for Labour, after the resignation of Will Prince, with 882 votes.

The first time councillor said his background was "one of the reasons" he got into politics and he was "very happy" to win.

"Having worked within the council system myself I have seen things they do and things I want to do," he said.

"I work with teenagers and work with gangs. That's a big area for me, crime and antisocial behaviour."

He said people were "really upset about the cost of living crisis" and housing concerns, particularly flooding that hit the area in 2019 and 2021.

He added: "Hopefully I can draw on my professional experience doing lots of case work and advocacy. I'm really excited to get into the nitty gritty of it all and get going with it."

South Hampstead only became a ward in the 2022 Camden elections.

Most of its area was previously in Swiss Cottage ward, which was abolished at the same time, with some sections of Kilburn and West Hampstead wards.

Ham & High: Conservative Don WilliamsConservative Don Williams (Image: Archant)

Some felt it should have been an easy win for Don Williams, who was Swiss Cottage councillor for the Conservative Party from 2002 to 2018, but he came second with 766 votes.

Many felt the unpopularity of the O2 Centre regeneration, pushed through by Labour, would swing the vote to opposition parties.

Mr Williams said the O2 Centre was "not really contentious" for many people. He said: "Everyone is really against it, they see it as disastrous."

But he added: "The 20mph zones, dirty streets, unreliable rubbish collections and crime is a very serious issue, people are very unhappy about that.

"We had a flasher in the road last week."

He said Labour could debate women and girls' safety "until the cows come home" but had done little to make the streets safer.

"I was shadow cabinet member for finance and for almost eight years I showed them an alternative budget (for crime).

"Boris was the mayor, he could have helped but they decided not to do it. What would be the difference now?

"The chickens have come home to roost. It's not just about that, it's about breaking into cars, breaking into houses. People are really fed up around it."

Ham & High: Patrick Stillman was standing for the Liberal Democrats for the first time at the South Hampstead by-electionPatrick Stillman was standing for the Liberal Democrats for the first time at the South Hampstead by-election (Image: Nathalie Raffray)

Patrick Stillman, a first time candidate for the Liberal Democrats, came third with 531 votes.

"If you were to ask anyone what the local issues were they would say the 02 Centre, 100%," he said.

"Crime was another big one. South Hampstead is seen as a safe area but people don't feel so safe. Nothing seems to be joined up in a crime sense, people don't feel safe and that seems to be missed out on a larger dialogue.

"With Conservative cuts to local councils it's going to come down to councils and how they respond to that. Put a Lib Dem in charge, that's my view."