Top cop fails to rule out merger between Brent and Harrow police teams

Chief Superintendent Matthew Gardner, Brent’s borough commander, spoke about possiblity in live web chat

Brent’s most senior policeman has not ruled out the possibility of merging his police team with another borough.

The admission came during a live web chat where Chief Superintendent Matthew Gardner, Brent’s borough commander, answered a series of questions on the police as a whole and how he is tackling crime.

When asked if Brent and Harrow could combine to form an umbrella unit Mr Gardner said: “The plan to address this is called the ‘Local Policing Model’ which is the proposal to re-align the way front line policing looks.

“The cuts that police and other public service sectors face are challenging.”

He said a final decision would eventually be finalised by higher powers but added: “Nothing has been decided to date.”

More than 70 people joined in the discussion which was also available on the Times’ official website.

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The Times asked what measures were being taken to reduce gang warfare on the Mozart and South Kilburn Estates, in Queens Park and South Kilburn which Chief Supt Gardner highlighted as an ‘area of concern’.

Claiming that there was ‘no sense or reason’ for attacks related to the rivalry, he said: “I work very closely with Westminster Borough and we have tactical plans and officers in place to respond to crime.

“We also get in there before crimes happen and execute search warrants on a regular basis.”

This was the first time Chief Supt Gardner had joined residents for an online discussion.

He said: “The web chat was a great way to use technology instead of dragging people into meetings. A lot of people have limited time in the week to invest in such an issue so I was grateful.

“I thought the questions were brilliant, totally relative and reflective of what the people we serve are concerned about. I enjoyed it and look forward to doing it again soon.”