Nov 12 2012 By David Baker
HARROW looks set to retain the services of its Borough Commander after a potential merge with Barnet was dismissed by the Mayor of London.
Last month the idea of Barnet and Harrow sharing the services of one Borough Commander was revealed by the borough's top cop Chief Superintendent Dal Babu, during a meeting of police scrutiny body, Harrow Police Community Consultative Group (HPCCG).
But despite that announcement, in a letter sent to Harrow and Brent's London Assembly Member Navin Shah, Boris Johnson says the proposal was never signed off by him.
The idea appeared to be being considered by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) with the Metropolitan Police facing up to trying to fill a £233milllion funding gap by 2015.
But despite a series of meetings with Harrow and Barnet's top officers about the idea, Boris Johnson - who is head of MOPAC - said there was 'no such MOPAC plan'.
In the letter he adds: "Senior officers in the MPS had been seeking the views of selected stakeholders on one of those options, but they were not agreed or signed off by me or my Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime.
"MOPAC is prepared to consider options for back office reform that involve sharing certain services, like custody or investigation, across borough boundaries where this makes sense, but I am clear that boroughs must retain sovereignty in any organisational of operational units."
It goes on to say that he is sceptical about the idea of sharing a borough commander and that unless there was 'compelling evidence' for it, it would not be pushed though.
Speaking about the move Navin Shah said: "It would appear that we’ve managed to save Harrow from losing its own Borough Commander but the Mayor’s reply to my letter is heavily guarded. The question is, if the Mayor and Deputy Mayor were so opposed to any merger plans, why didn’t MOPAC know about this and why
did MOPAC continued consulting across London causing anxiety?
"Until the Mayor and his team give a decisive direction that there will be no mergers of Borough Commands concerns across London will remain.”