Police reject residents' pleas for more night time patrols
PUBLISHED: 10:58 31 July 2008 | UPDATED: 15:16 07 September 2010
CALLS for police patrols overnight in Camden s crime hotspots have been ruled out by the borough s top cop. Ever since Safer Neighbourhoods Teams (SNTs) were introduced in 2004, many people have been asking for them to be on the streets when they are most
CALLS for police patrols overnight in Camden's crime hotspots have been ruled out by the borough's top cop.
Ever since Safer Neighbourhoods Teams (SNTs) were introduced in 2004, many people have been asking for them to be on the streets when they are most needed - after dark.
Former Mayor of Camden, Cllr Jill Fraser, has been a vociferous campaigner after her Haverstock ward has been blighted by youth anti-social behaviour.
She asked the borough's police commander Dominic Clout to consider changing the shift patterns of the teams at a council scrutiny meeting last week.
But Ch Supt Clout refused her request, putting the reason down to giving a proper 'work life balance' to his officers.
"If you ask them to work nights they will say, 'Hang on a minute, I want a shift pattern which is more of a work-life balance," he said.
"The point people miss is that there are 500 police officers working for the safety of Camden's residents. There are many other officers working a variety of shift patterns, covering 24/7 who deal with all kinds of anti-social behaviour.
"I am not going to change anyone's shift patterns because there are people working at night to deal with these issues."
But Cllr Fraser was not im-pressed with the response. Speaking after the scrutiny meeting she said: "I didn't make any other comment after that because there was not enough time to get into a fight.
"What about our work life balance as residents? It is ruined by the fact we do not have any officers on duty in Haverstock where the big problem is anti-social behaviour.
"I do appreciate what the team does. They help in all sorts of situations but we need them on the streets when the problems are arising and that is at night.
"I don't expect the PCSOs to work every night and every working day but we need to have a presence there at certain times. The anti-social behaviour on Queen's Crescent is getting really bad again.
"If you had police in the evening it would deter the youths from coming in but at the moment the only people who are threatened are the shopkeepers."
Manager of the Queen's Crescent Community Centre, Foyezur Miah, wants more police on duty at night rather than the PCSOs.
"The Safer Neighbourhoods Team is doing a brilliant job but the PCSOs don't have as many powers and they could be vulnerable during the evening," he said.
"That is when most of the activities do happen.