Boris cuts Kilburn police

Last year, when Boris’s police cuts forced Safer Neighbourhood police Teams (SNTs) in other Camden wards to share a sergeant, we thought Kilburn had escaped.

Indeed, Superintendent Raj Kohli came to a public meeting in the wake of the fatal stabbing in our ward and was pretty clear the high levels of anti-social activity and youth violence demanded a full-strength team.

This doesn’t seem to matter to Boris.

Following a meeting with Chief Inspector Michael Walsh, it has been confirmed that, like other, much safer, wards in the borough, Kilburn’s Safer Neighbourhood Team will be sharing its sergeant, Eddie Odita, with the High Road team.

Since summer 2010 there has been a full time ‘town centre’ team dedicated to working on crime on Kilburn High Road, both Brent and Camden sides (this blog covered the launch event).

The launch of the dedicated Kilburn High Road police team in July 2010

This has been really successful, not only in terms of its own clean-up rate, but also because it meant that our ward safer neighbourhood police team could focus on crime on our streets and estates (previously, it had to deal with both).

Eddie, our SNT sergeant in Kilburn, does a really good job, and spends a great deal of time on the front-line – he’s highly visible (usually on his bike) across the ward. On top of all this, our SNT isn’t up to the full complement of PCs and PCSOs either.

This will come as a real blow to residents in Kilburn who have to live with gang violence and anti-social behaviour on a daily basis. Our excellent SNT sergeant should be spending all his time dealing with these problems, not having to worry about organised theft and other crime faced by businesses and shoppers on the High Road too.

Once again, Boris has demonstrated how out of touch he is with the needs of ordinary people in Kilburn. You would have thought that our ‘near miss’ on the High Road in the summer riots, would demonstrate the need for more officers for both teams, not a job share.

Local people I’ve talked to about this are really unhappy and the local Labour team will be campaigning on the issue.  Whether you’re a resident in our ward, or a business on the High Road, I’d be interested to hear your views.  Please email me at or tweet @mikekatz.

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