Outrage as Camden left ‘exposed’ while 99 police a week lost to other boroughs

Camden police are being abstracted from borough

Camden police are being abstracted from borough - Credit: Archant

People in Camden are being left “vulnerable and exposed” after it emerged that over 1,000 police officers were lost to other boroughs in three months, say critics.

Det ch supt Penny Banham

Det ch supt Penny Banham - Credit: Archant

Between June and September this year, Camden lost a total of 1,293 officer shifts to other boroughs – averaging 99 shifts per week. Neighbouring borough Barnet lost a total of 951 officer shifts.

Neither borough received any help from officers from other areas during this time.

Jessica Learmond-Criqui, chair of the Frognal and Fitzjohns safer neighbourhood panel said: “This is a scandal in policing.

“Camden police have crimes to investigate and serious work to do. How can they do that when they are continually being removed, with no notice I might add, to do other, usually unknown tasks, until the morning they turn up for work?”

The figures were revealed by Mayor of London Boris Johnson in response to a question from Andrew Dismore, Labour’s London Assembly member for Barnet and Camden.

Mr Johnson said: “Camden supplied 1,054 constable shifts on central public order operations. During the same time period 57 inspector and 182 sergeant shifts were supplied on central public order operations.”

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During the same period neighbouring Barnet also lost 810 constable shifts to central public order operations, 25 inspector and 116 sergeant shifts.

Ms Learmond-Criqui said: “Often a Sergeant, Inspector or Chief Inspector will turn up for work with plans for their team and find the whole team has been extracted for one or more days.

“They then can’t do anything..so muggings, stabbings, moped enabled crime which needs investigating has to sit there until they are back.”

She said: “The Met are in serious trouble with the financial strangulation being imposed on them and as a result the citizens of London are being made vulnerable and exposed.”

Susan West, who chairs the Hampstead Town safer neighbourhood panel, said: “The number of times Camden police officers are taken off their duties in order to help out in other boroughs is staggering.

“The Met is constantly robbing Peter to pay Paul because there are simply not enough officers to go round – and there is even worse to come.”

Camden’s cabinet member for community safety Jonathan Simpson said: “These figures are a huge concern.