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Fears grow over Harrow Police Station closure amid talks of merging borough commands

In the structural shake up, Harrow would be merged with Brent and Barnet with one single 'tri-borough' commander in charge

There are question marks over the future of South Harrow Police station(Image: Google Maps)

Fears are growing that a Harrow police station could close amid talks of structural shake-up of Metropolitan Police borough commands.

The police force are in talks as to decide whether to merge Harrow borough into a single command with Brent and Barnet.

The move would mean all three London boroughs would be overseen by one borough commander.

Detective Chief Superintendent Simon Rose, the current borough commander for Barnet, has confirmed he would be the likely 'tri-borough commander' if the merger were to go ahead.

Detective Chief Superintendent Simon Rose could be a 'Tri-borough' Commander(Image: Police)

The final decision will be made by the Met Commissioner, Cressida Dick, and Sophie Linden, the deputy mayor for policing and crime, in the autumn, following full evaluation of the test sites.

The Metropolitan Police Service began testing a proposed restructure of local policing in January this year, including moving from a borough based policing model to basic command units (BCU).

DCS Rose said: "We have been testing this approach in two areas which have brought together, Barking and Dagenham, Redbridge and Havering boroughs in the east, and Camden and Islington boroughs in the north.

"For my part, I am starting to speak with colleagues in the other Boroughs to see what can be done to make any transition as smooth and painless a possible for all, as well as making appointments to discuss the issues and listen to the concerns of interested parties across the three Boroughs.

"The new model brings together the management of neighbourhoods, response, investigation and safeguarding, including child protection, victims of sexual abuse and domestic abuse.

"By testing the model first, the MPS and those partners can assess how it works and if the predicted benefits come into practical reality."

Harrow West MP Gareth Thomas will 'step up' plans to protect South Harrow Police station in light of the proposal, after the borough has lost 165 police officers.

Gareth Thomas MP for Harrow West has campaigned against police cuts (Image: UGC)

He said: "With the best will in the world, any police commander based in Colindale or Wembley is not going to prioritise Harrow when it comes to moving officers and resources around.

"With rising knife crime and serious concerns about burglaries and antisocial behaviour, it is vital that the Police in Harrow are given the resources our borough needs and deserves.

“This merger of borough commands is just the thin end of the wedge with Theresa May’s government cuts forcing the Met to make £400m of savings.

"Plans to close half of the police stations in London have recently been confirmed, so I am stepping up my campaign to protect South Harrow Police Station, and have already taken this up with the new Met Commissioner, Cressida Dick."

The Labour MP's concerns come after losing "165 uniformed police in Harrow since Theresa May became home secretary" and Harrow officers are also "routinely being deployed in other boroughs to plug gaps" and respond to major events in London.

Mr Thomas added: "Just last week, our borough commander in Harrow was very active reassuring the Muslim community following the horrific attack on Finsbury Park Mosque.

"He has been able to invest time in building good links with a broad range of people in Harrow, something that the new tri-borough commander will struggle to be able to do to the same extent.

"I will be taking this up with Nick Hurd, the new Police Minister, and pushing for more resources for our police in Parliament.”

In considering moving from the traditional 32 borough model to a smaller number of larger units, The Metropolitan Police Service has been speaking to local councils and the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC), about how this might be taken forward.

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