Sep 7 2012 By Hannah Bewley
CAMPAIGNERS have won a battle to keep Harrow police station's cells open.
Labour MP Gareth Thomas started the Save Our Cells campaign against the proposed closure of the custody suites at Harrow police station.
After raising the issue in the House of Commons Mr Thomas petitioned the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Bernard Hogan-Howe and worked with Harrow Council to raise concerns about the planned closure.
The plans were lodged in May without any consultation and it emerged the police intended to close the borough’s 11 cells and two detention rooms, meaning suspects would have been taken to Brent, Barnet or Hillingdon by arresting officers.
Many concerned citizens in the area signed a petition to keep the cells open and it has now emerged their efforts have not been in vain.
The MP for Harrow West said: "It is the right decision for a number of reasons. The residents in Harrow would have been stripped of their police officers, who would have been spending their time running a taxi service for criminals. I am relieved that this decision has been made in favour of keeping the custody suites and would like to take this opportunity to thank all the residents who signed petitions and joined in with demonstrations. I am sure that your determination was a factor in the decision to Save our Cells."
Police revealed the plans in April in an email to MPs and councillors from the Commander for North West London, Christine Jones, which was part of the force's "modernisation and improvement programme".
Borough Commander for Harrow Dal Babu said: "After an internal review, it has been decided that Harrow's Custody Suite will remain open. This is excellent news for the residents and businesses of Harrow."
The Observer is awaiting more information the Met police.