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Navin's News: Harrow and Barnet Borough Comman

Merger of Harrow and Barnet Borough Commands Saved!

My colleague Andrew Dismore AM and I were informed by our respective Borough Commanders, independently about the Metropolitan Police / Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime’s (MOPAC) plan to change the present arrangements, in which there will be one Borough Commander covering the two Boroughs of Harrow and Barnet.

When quizzed at the Mayor’s Question Time on 17 October, the Mayor in the first instance did not seem to know that there were any merger plans for Borough Command Units. But, when he was shown MOPAC’s own map for the merger he was ruffled. When further confronted about Harrow and Barnet, the Mayor seemed to be unsure. As a follow up Assembly Members Navin Shah and Andrew Dismore wrote jointly to the Mayor expressing their strong concerns about the merger of their Borough Commands. The letter to save the London Mayor’s proposal to merge the Borough Commands of Harrow and Barnet has drawn a surprising response from the Mayor of London amounting to backtracking of the merger proposals not just for Harrow and Barnet but also other Boroughs across London. However, the letter is guarded in that it leaves possibility for changes to the current arrangements.

It would appear that we’ve managed to save Harrow from losing its own Borough Commander but the Mayor’s reply to my letter is heavily guarded. The question is, if the Mayor and Deputy Mayor were so opposed to any merger plans, why didn’t MOPAC know about this and why did MOPAC continued consulting across London causing anxiety? I was told personally about the plans to merge by our own Borough Commander Dal Babu. Why didn’t senior police officers like the Borough Commanders in Harrow and Barnet didn’t know about this? Now the Mayor seems to be dismissing any plans for merger but I’m worried by his reference to any ‘compelling evidence’ emerging which could change his skepticism. Until the Mayor and his team give a decisive direction that there will be no mergers of Borough Commands concerns across London will remain. The London Mayor and MOPAC’s plans for the ‘new policing model’ are in a state of chaos and confusion. Merger of Borough Commands is a prime example of it.

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11th November 2012