The independent London newspaper

‘A terrible time’ to lose top cop behind Islington and Camden merger

Most senior police officer leaves role after just 12 months

05 January, 2018 — By William McLennan

DCS Catherine Roper: ‘very impressive’ during her time in Islington

ISLINGTON’S most senior police officer is to be replaced just 12 months after the borough’s force merged with neighbouring Camden.

Catherine Roper, who oversaw the merger in January last year and who has an office at the police station in Tolpuddle Street, will be on an intensive training course for the next three months before being replaced permanently in April.

Detective Chief Superintendent Roper was said to be “very impressive” during her time in Camden and Islington, but the decision by the Met to move her on while the borough merger is still in its early stages has been criticised.

Deputy chair of London Assembly’s police and crime committee Sian Berry said: “It’s a terrible time to be replacing another borough commander, especially while we are piloting the merged borough model, which has definitely been rocky in a number of ways, and with problems that are uniquely bad in our area, like moped crime.

DCS Iain Raphael

“I thought that Chief Superintendent Roper was very impressive when I met her and saw her working with residents. I hope the leadership that replaces her will be strong and immediately as effective, because we really need it.”

DCS Roper said it had been “an absolute honour” serving the people of Camden and Islington.

“I am moving on, knowing that the local policing of these incredible boroughs is in extremely capable hands, but I will still miss working with the local communities, partners and my teams, who collectively have dedicated significant time and energy to support the most vulnerable and to relentlessly pursue anyone causing harm to our boroughs,” she added. “I would like to thank everyone for their help and support.”

Superintendent Nick Davies will take over on a temporary basis until April, when he will be replaced by DCS Iain Raphael, who currently leads policing in Enfield.

DCS Raphael, who holds a doctorate in criminal justice from the University of Portsmouth, joined the Met in 1993 and took his first posting as a borough commander in July last year.

He led the police’s anti-burglary MetTrace project, which saw the distribution of thousands of kits of SmartWater, allowing people to mark valuables with a unique code that could be traced if stolen. The project, which won industry awards, is said to have led to a decrease of 3,000 burglaries over three years. DCS Raphael said the scheme “highlights both the importance and impact [that] crime prevention and private/public approaches can deliver and we need to do more of this”.


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