New Kilburn police force launches
History was made in the Kilburn High Road last Wednesday (14) when a new cross borough police unit was launched – giving the busy street its first ever single force, writes Kate Ferguson. The new Kilburn High Road Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT), which
History was made in the Kilburn High Road last Wednesday (14) when a new cross borough police unit was launched - giving the busy street its first ever single force, writes Kate Ferguson.
The new Kilburn High Road Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT), which comprises of three PCs and a Sergeant from Camden, and three PCSO's from Brent, will patrol both sides of the street, which slices through Camden and Brent.
Chief Supt Matt Gardner, Brent Police Borough Commander, told the Times the new force would allow officers to drill in on the issues affecting the high street.
Chief Supt Gardner said: "Let's not beat about the bush. This is an area which has a lot of crime which disrupts people's lives. This team aims to turn that around by identifying the issues, and disrupting and arresting the criminals who make people's lives un-enjoyable."
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Chief Supt Dominic Clout, Camden Police Borough Commander, thanked the Times for its campaign to create a single force, and said: "This force makes sense. The residents and local business people have told us 'isn't it about time that we create a single for the Kilburn High Road?' and we have responded.
"The aim is to make Kilburn High Road safer and to make sure businesses are protected and to give them the dedicated services they need."
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Two separate SNT units previously patrolled the road, but this borough split led to different police strategies, and in May the Times revealed crime figures between the two sides of the road were radically different.
Sgt Neil Payn, the new Kilburn High Road SNT Sergeant, who previously led the crack down on selling legal highs in Camden Town, said he anticipated the biggest issues would be theft and anti social behaviour.
Sgt Payn said: "I am hugely excited about this team. We are here to support the people of Kilburn and provide a better, safer environment.
"Getting the communication between the residents, businesses and different boroughs will be key.
"We are going to be working very closely with the SNTs in Camden and Brent, who have a wealth of experience here and a lot of contacts."
Traders and residents hailed the news as a great day for Kilburn.
Zulfi Amade, chair of Kilburn Business Friends, which has campaigned for a single force, said: "We are very glad that having campaigned for this force, we are now seeing it realised.
"Our main concern is to ensure people can shop safely. We are reassured to have a dedicated police presence to achieve this."
Cllr Mike Katz, Kilburn councillor in Camden, said: "It is revolutionary that these tow boroughs are working together. Hopefully this is the start of more joint working between the boroughs.