Harrow Town Centre has missed out on the opportunity to get its own dedicated police team.
MP for Harrow West, Gareth Thomas, penned a letter to Met Police saying:
“l am writing to you following our correspondence, in the Autumn of 2021, regarding the announcement of new dedicated police teams for key town centres.
”I note that, yet again, Harrow Town Centre, in my constituency, has missed out on being involved in the recently announced second tranche of new town centre police teams.
“You mention in your correspondence, of 26 October 2021, that ‘a modelling exercise was undertaken which included an assessment of crime against the Cambridge harm index, crime volumes and demand over a sustained period and some other key metrics”.
“I would appreciate if you could provide further details on how these metrics were combined and applied to achieve a league table of areas on which you base the allocation of Town Centre Police Teams?
“I would further appreciate viewing the final results of these metrics for both the application of the first and second tranche of announced areas benefiting from the allocation of these teams?
I have written to @metpoliceuk to understand why on earth Harrow Town Centre has missed out again on getting a dedicated Town Centre plan. I will keep pushing for extra police for Harrow. pic.twitter.com/hFByhXt9to
— Gareth Thomas MP (@GarethThomasMP) March 10, 2022
“Finally, I would welcome the opportunity to meet with you to discuss these issues and to understand in greater detail why a dedicated Town Centre Police Team for Harrow Town Centre has not yet been allocated. If you could provide some dates, at your convenience, for such a meeting my office will be happy to finalise details.
“I look forward to your considered reply.”
The teams, announced at the end of 2021, are one way the Met is utilising the recent increase in policing numbers. Their purpose is to address violence, including the forms that affect women and girls disproportionately, and in particular the focus is on town centres.
They form part of the additional 650 officers that the Met announced in order to provide greater visibility, including areas that women can feel unsafe.
The Town Centre Teams typically consist of 25 additional officers – one inspector, three sergeants and 21 police constables.
Once in place, local police leaders will have the discretion to increase the size of the teams as required.
Back in October, in writing to the (then) Met Police Commissioner, Cressida Dick, Gareth Thomas said: “In the past, the town centre in my borough has had a dedicated police team, but, as a result of Home Office failures, we have seen a significant reduction in police available to Harrow since the 2012 Olympics.
“I welcome the announcement of a dedicated team for Harlesden and Wembley but given that Harrow is both a significant commercial district in its own right, has an increasing nightlife and is an important transport hub with Harrow Bus Station and Harrow on the Hill Station both within the town centre, I struggle to understand why it hasn’t been prioritised for its own dedicated team of police officers.”