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New police officers for Camden as all neighbourhood positions finally filled

PUBLISHED: 14:09 29 August 2019

Hampstead Town and Highgate wards could end up without any dedicated ward officers (DWOs). Picture: Ken Mears/Polly Hancock

Hampstead Town and Highgate wards could end up without any dedicated ward officers (DWOs). Picture: Ken Mears/Polly Hancock

Archant

Camden has had a welcome boost of more than 20 police officers, the Metropolitan Police has confirmed.

The increase was confirmed by Ch Insp Neil Holyoak, who is in charge of neighbourhoods and partnership at Central North, which covers Camden and Islington.

The wards to get extra cops include Hampstead Town and Highgate. Ch Insp Holyoak confirmed all ward vacancies have now been filled. The new recruits have started their new jobs in the last three months.

The officers will work as a local link for the police force and the community, and will be seen patrolling the streets.

In June, this newspaper reported fears that Hampstead Town and Highgate could have ended up without neighbourhood police officers for months.

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Scotland Yard has also sent extra officers to work on the busiest wards, including Gospel Oak and Kentish Town to "tackle crime and anti-social behaviour."

They will be based in the Met's stations in Kentish Town, West Hampstead, Holborn and in Camden Town. The Met is also working with Camden Council to identify other areas it can station cops.

The officers will all be in post by September 2, and it is in line with Sadiq Khan's pledge to have two dedicated ward officers in each ward.

The Met's recruitment drive could also see a further 100 bobbies in Camden over the next year.

Mary Selfe, who heads Highgate's Safer Neighbourhood Panel, said she was delighted. "They have been making the rounds, getting to know the community by meeting residents, and are continuing to build on their local knowledge. We are very grateful to have them and are the better for it," she said.

Ch Insp Holyoak added: "I'm really pleased. It's key to reducing crime. Camden does buck the trend when it comes to violence, and it's one of the best in London.

"We are also focusing on burglary and robberies and tackling them, and I can start to police the borough more effectively."

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