Low value placed on basing police teams in their communities

In recent weeks I have been studying closely the Metropolitan Police Authority s Asset Management Plans for Camden and Barnet and have visited Kentish Town police station, Gospel Oak Safer Neighbourhood Base and Barnet police consultation. It is clear f

In recent weeks I have been studying closely the Metropolitan Police Authority's Asset Management Plans for Camden and Barnet and have visited Kentish Town police station, Gospel Oak Safer Neighbourhood Base and Barnet police consultation.

It is clear from this that the Met Police place a low value on basing patrol and response teams around the community in local stations. They are more interested in teams in cars, directed from the borough's police HQ, which they say is more 'efficient'.

Many of these officers now commute to work from miles away, so have no roots in the community, and if they are car-based, they will not interact much with residents on their beat. How can they be expected to build the rapport and trust that will gain them active cooperation

and circumstantial information? The Safer Neighbourhood Teams may


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build the relationships, but are about prevention, not cure.

Since divisions within the borough were abolished, crime clear-up rates and response times have never matched the 80% achieved before

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then in Hampstead, for example. So residents' anxiety about

closing stations like Golders Green, Hampstead and Kentish Town, or even withdrawing everything except SNTs, is fully justified.

At no stage has anyone from the Metropolitan Police Authority provided any evidence that a centralised model of policing is more effective in clear-up rates, response times or improving community confidence in the police; withdrawing officers from local stations will only make things worse.

Nick Russell

Lib Dem Candidate for London Assembly

Barnet and Camden

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