Brent and Harrow
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Sadiq Khan Mayor of London
Navin Shah GLA Brent & Harrow
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‘TOTAL POLICING’ says New Met Commissioner

The Met Police Commissioner of London, Bernard Hogan Howe, visited Harrow early this month to talk about his ‘Total Policing’ concept to the residents of Harrow, Brent and Barnet. Addressing the gathering of the three Boroughs he explained his ambition of making London’s police the best service in the country and the world. However, he revealed a disturbing rise in crime and burglary figures (noted below) in the boroughs of Brent, Harrow and Barnet.

Compared to the 2010/11 figures:

  • In Brent personal robbery has increased by 14%, residential burglaries have gone up by 15% and there is decrease of 31% in detection rate. Over the same period there were 19,600 cases of stop and search with 7% arrest rate as compared to 4,200 cases of stop and search incidents in Harrow.
  • In Harrow personal robbery has increased by 63%, residential burglaries have gone up by 15% and there is decrease of 31% in detection rate. Over the same period there were 4200 cases of stop and search with 7% arrest rate with dramatic increase in sickness level in PCSOs and overall increase in the level of police sickness.

police lamp.jpg

Attending this meeting, in my constituency of Brent and Harrow, which was a very welcome initiative from the new Met Commissioner I took the opportunity to quiz him on one the most important issues about reduced police numbers in both Brent and Harrow. With the crime and burglary numbers rising I have grave concerns about depleted safer neighbourhood teams with reduced number of sergeants and the ability of Brent and Harrow to remain safe.

I also pointed out to the Commissioner residents' concerns during the London Olympics when a large number of local police would be deployed in London. In his reply to the reduced police numbers the Commissioner said he was reasonably confident that the resources were broadly right for now and he told the audience to expect a ‘significant announcement in April’. On the matter of police cover in Brent and Harrow during the Olympics he accepted that there would be smaller police numbers in outer London Boroughs but he’d be able to manage as there’d  be help from ‘mutual aid’ deployment of police forces from other parts of the country.

I have no doubt that the Commissioner is ambitious and serious about his plans to improve London’s policing. But I’m concerned that we are witnessing a trend of increased crime and burglary rates as confirmed by the Commissioner and the decreasing police numbers including loss of half of sergeants would hamper our Safer Neighbourhood Teams from keeping our localities safe and put at risk our success in combating crime. I wonder whether the Commissioner’s reference to ‘significant announcement in April’ is about a short term fix before the Mayoral elections. Reduced level of police during the London Olympics in Outer London areas like Harrow and Brent remains a big cause of concern to me.

Navin Shah AM

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30th January 2012