Islington and Camden police merger a ‘mixed’ success
Mayor Sadiq Khan has admitted a cost-cutting move has had its problems
14 July, 2017 — By William McLennan
LONDON Mayor Sadiq Khan has admitted a cost-cutting move that saw Islington’s dedicated police team merged with neighbouring Camden has been a “mixed” success.
Mr Khan said at City Hall that there “has been some issues” since policing in the two boroughs was unified and brought under the control of a single commander at the beginning of this year.
He was grilled on the success of the move in Islington and Camden, which is being treated as a “pathfinder” before mergers take place across the capital.
Mr Khan said: “We can’t proceed unless [the pathfinders] work. What we are not willing to do is proceed with [the mergers] taking place if there are problems with the pathfinders and, as you are hopefully aware, there has been some issues.”
Asked if the Camden and Islington merger had been a success, Mr Khan said: “It has been mixed, if I’m frank.”
The Met Police has had £500million cut from its budget in recent years, with a further £300million to come.
The Tribune has learned that officers working on response teams – those who respond to 999 calls – have been the most seriously affected. They have been hit by problems with new radios, which have at times left them unable to call for back-up, and also have an increased workload.
Under the new model, neighbourhood teams have passed over low-level detective work to response teams, meaning that as well as attending emergency calls, they must also find time to complete tasks such as collecting witness statements and CCTV.
Deputy commissioner Craig Mackey said that in other areas, such as in CID, the results of the merger “looks quite good”.