Top cop throws endangered police stations a lifeline

THE first glimmer of hope that Hampstead and Kentish Town police stations may be saved was given by Camden's new police chief on Tuesday night

THE first glimmer of hope that Hampstead and Kentish Town police stations may be saved was given by Camden's new police chief on Tuesday night.

Chief superintendent Dominic Clout who has been in the job for just a fortnight, indicated he was not completely happy with the Met's plan which marks the two aging police stations for closure.

Under the plan, they would be replaced with a centralised patrol base from which Camden's 800-strong force would be masterminded. In neighbouring Barnet, Golders Green police station faces a similar threat.

But Chief Supt Clout questioned whether 999 response times would improve under such a plan and said: "I have yet to be convinced by a single patrol base.


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"I am aware of the argument that it will improve response times, but I am yet to see that. Camden as a borough is so congested."

The meeting called by a Camden Council scrutiny committee provided the first chance for real debate on the asset management plan.

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Members of the public heard community representatives and councillors slate the scheme which would see smaller 'cop shops' rented throughout Camden by the Safer Neighbourhood Teams.

Richard Sumray from the Metropolitan Police Authority said ideas had been tabled with Camden Council to share buildings like Hampstead and Kentish Town police stations. But he added: "There has been no great interest from the local authority so far."

More public meetings and site visits have been arranged by the Camden Community and Police Consultative Group. A walk around Hampstead police station is taking place at 11am this Saturday (Feb 2), with a Kentish Town visit the following week.

The Ham&High is also sponsoring a debate at Hampstead Town Hall at 7.30pm on February 18.

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