According to your letters page J R Brown "awaits enlightenment" on Boris Johnson's relationship with the Metropolitan Police, Harrow Police Station, and "crime in London".

I thought this was well explained in Elaine Okyere's article (February 5) but I hope this does the trick.

Boris Johnson, as Mayor of London, chairs the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA), the body that holds the Metropolitan Police Service to account and it is the Mayor who determines the budget for the Metropolitan Police Service.

Mr Brown may recall the London Mayor's appalling intervention in the events surrounding Ian Blair's resignation.

In the first meeting of the Authority he chaired, in October, the Mayor suspended the MPA's Estate Strategy, which planned to modernise the police estate throughout London.

In Harrow, modernisation meant (and hopefully still means) a new police station to replace the Harrow Police Station in Northolt Road. The estates strategy has first delayed this, and now it is doubtful.

A new police station for Harrow is a high priority for the police service. But the number of 'priorities' that can be replaced or refurbished of course depends on the overall funding level decided by Mayor Johnson. It is for this reason that the mayor is directly responsible, and accountable for, the progress on Harrow's new police station.

The political make-up of the council is irrelevant to a decision made at the regional level. Should the council, or the mayor for that matter, be Labour, Mr Brown would still find a "sustained campaign" against the suspension.

In regard to the effect a new police station will have on "crime in London", Harrow's Borough Commander has called the station "woefully inadequate" for his force's needs and Scotland Yard agrees Northolt Road is not fit for purpose.

In case you were unsure, the purpose of the Metropolitan Police is to, erm, "fight crime in London". It is not my role to question the judgement of experienced officers, but simply ensure these views in the interest of Harrow are fully represented to the decision-maker, the mayor.


Assembly Member for Brent and Harrow via email