Harrow “won’t be poor relation” in Met merger

Harrow Council vowed today it “won’t be the poor relation” in a plan announced by the Metropolitan Police, which aims to merge Harrow’s policing with higher-crime areas Brent and Barnet.

Harrow Council leader Sachin Shah vowed to continue his lobbying campaign with other London councils and the Mayor of London, to ensure that any police savings plan puts enough police on the streets of Harrow and preserves its status as one of London’s safest places to live.

“Harrow’s policing needs are not the same as Barnet and Brent, and I will fight any merger that gives Harrow a raw deal,” Cllr Shah said. “The Met faces an impossible challenge to balance its budgets, and we are very sympathetic to that. I fully support the Mayor’s requests to central government to reverse some of the outrageous £1bln funding cut that the Met is suffering.”

The Met plan intends to combine the three boroughs into a single Borough Command Unit (BCU) from this September, led by the current Barnet police chief Simon Rose. Every borough in London is scheduled to be merged into a BCU in the coming year, following trial mergers last year.

Cllr Shah said,

“I am calling for a pause in these mergers. Pilot schemes have not worked as intended, with many obvious teething troubles. There is every reason for a pause to allow more planning and testing to get these BCUs right, or replace them with another solution.”