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The history of police and courts in Harrow

Law and order is, of course, the backbone of our country as well as our borough and, in this article, we’re taking a look at the history of Harrow’s police and law courts.

On the beat

In 1829, Home Secretary Robert Peel introduced the Metropolitan Police Act which would subsequently become the Metropolitan Police Force. This was the first time in our history that there was an organised English police service formed to protect the public. Harrow’s first ever police station was built in Pinner in 1899 by Fassnidge & Sons – property developers and estate agents in Uxbridge who still operate to this day.

The history of police and courts in Harrow Harrow Online
Pinner Police Station. Image: Google Maps

The station on Northolt Road had detainee cells and was presided over by Sergeant John Moore who lived in a flat above the station with his wife, Kate and their three sons. There would subsequently be police stations in Wealdstone and in central Harrow before these closed and made way for a more modern station in South Harrow.

Taking the stand

A police service is vital for any community – as is a court of law – but, until the 1980s, Harrow’s criminals and lawyers would have to travel to Parliament Square as, at that time, the Middlesex Guildhall this was the closest dedicated courthouse. As Harrow’s population grew, however, it was decreed that our corner of north west London would need its very own courthouse and, in 1991, Harrow Crown Court on Hailsham Drive was built by architect Kyle Stewart.

The history of police and courts in Harrow Harrow Online
Harrow Crown Court

At a cost of £17.6 million, the building features three sections which face onto Headstone Drive and is faced largely with glass as well as a prominent coat of arms on the right hand section of the building. The courthouse, which contains eight courtrooms, was briefly closed in 2023 after it was found to contain reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete but notable cases in the past include the 1998 trial and conviction of politician and white supremacist Nick Griffin and Lily Allen’s stalker, Alex Gray. The most recent judge to preside over Harrow Crown Court is H.H.J John Lodge.

Power to the people

The police in Harrow work incredibly hard to keep our borough safe and initiatives include public meetings which allow residents to have their say and to ask questions regarding safety and other issues within the London Borough of Harrow.