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


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

Friday, December 7, 2018

British Transport Police are looking to speak to a man about three women being racially abused on an underground train.

Friday, December 7, 2018

The Carlton Tavern could be reopened in April, nine months after the planning inspectorate told them to rebuild it.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Coffee isn’t the only thing Deniz Korkmaz is brewing up in Kentish Town.

Friday, December 7, 2018

We chat to five local designers and artists who tell us about the one thing they must have or do at home that puts them in the Christmas mood

Friday, December 7, 2018

An application to redevelop a house in Swiss Cottage, owned by an off-shore company linked to an address in the Panama Papers and billionaire property mogul Sol Zakay, has been approved.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Two sisters from Muswell Hill were lucky enough to meet the Queen this week after playing a pivotal role in publication of a book about an adoption pioneer.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Fears of rising knife crime dominated a community meeting held in West Hampstead last night, while local police called on vigilant locals to help them do their jobs by making sure to report crime.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

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


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

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now