Hampstead at risk from police cuts according to neighbourhood safety campaigners
PUBLISHED: 08:30 19 April 2018 | UPDATED: 09:10 19 April 2018
Safety campaigners fear the Hampstead community will be at risk of more crime as the number of neighbourhood police officers has been slashed.
Jessica Learmond-Criqui, who chairs the Frognal and Fitzjohns SNT panel, and Susan West, who chairs the Hampstead panel have contacted the new Camden and Islington borough commander, Det Ch Supt Iain Raphael to protest at the move.
Their fears come as both a neighbourhood segeant and an inspector leave the Frognal and Fitzjohns, Hampstead Town and Swiss Cottage wards.
Ms Learmond-Criqui writes in the Ham&High: “Further cuts are about to wreck more havoc - a diktat from the Mayor of London. Sadiq Khan’s Office has this month ordered that one sergeant and one inspector must be cut from Camden borough’s numbers.
“That means that in Frognal and Fitzjohns, Hampstead Town and Swiss Cottage wards, our sergeant is to be removed and another sergeant who already has other duties on one or more wards, must pick us up too.”
Sgt Andy Catherwood, who previously covered the three wards, is set to leave after just six weeks on the patch and Hampstead Town pc Ed Bromilow has also left his role covering Hampstead Town.
Ms West has raised her concerns to Det Ch Supt Iain Raphael about the lack of experience in the area with the two departures.
She said: “I would have expected the Met to have placed a great emphasis on the leadership function and shown a greater commitment to neighbourhood policing.”
Aside from cuts to police numbers, Ms Learmond-Criqui has highlighted long 101 waiting time figures, and crimes being closed without investigating as an example of people’s frustration and dissatisfaction with police.
Camden and Islington Supt Nick Davies, who heads neighbourhood policing, Ms Learmond-Criqui said: “We in this community will not settle for second best. We need a sergeant who is not running 3 other wards to which ours will be tacked on.”