Opinion: Is permanent police merger gamble too far?

PUBLISHED: 08:00 25 February 2018

Keith Prince told Recorder Q&A he would bring back captial punishment.

Keith Prince told Recorder Q&A he would bring back captial punishment.


For several months our police service in Havering has been operating under a trial merger with neighbouring boroughs in Redbridge and Barking and Dagenham.

Resources have been pooled and the three boroughs have been effectively policed as one large area – often referred to as the tri-borough.

This controversial change to the way policing is delivered is now being rolled out across London by Sadiq Khan in a bid to save around £325million.

The Mayor claims he has taken this decision after a successful trial, yet just a few months back the tri-borough was experiencing a massive decline in the speed of its emergency responses.

The situation led to the leader of Barking and Dagenham Council declaring the merger had left officers ‘struggling to deliver effective policing’.

In the weeks and months since, the Met claims to have fixed the issue – and improvements have been made - but questions remain over the operational merits of making the move to this set-up permanent.

The tri-borough (Eastern Area BCU) is currently experiencing a spike in burglaries, something I recently met with Detective Superintendent Neil Matthews to discuss.

There are benefits to joint working with neighbouring forces, which can be useful when dealing with these types of crime as investigations often cross borough boundaries.

There are other advantages too, such as pooling specialist roles and operations.

But there is concern that areas like town centres will receive a greater focus and lower crime areas will be left exposed.

With violent crime rising across London is now the time to be undertaking a permanent change to London’s police force that just a few weeks ago was being treated as an experiment?

The Mayor will point to financial difficulties in the Met – but these have been plugged by his proposed increase in the Met Police precept on the council tax so the situation is not desperate.

It feels that by enforcing this change permanently at this stage, the Mayor is gambling with Londoners’ safety. I will be keeping a close eye on the ongoing progress of the tri-borough partnership to ensure that, if further issues arise, they are dealt with quickly and robustly.

Latest Romford Stories

Yesterday, 18:00

Everyone Active Raiders head coach Sean Easton wants his side to maintain their momentum as they welcome Swindon Wildcats to Romford’s Sapphire Ice & Leisure Centre on Sunday (5.30pm).

Yesterday, 17:00

Boro without a win in their last nine league matches, including a 2-0 loss at Witham Town last weekend

Yesterday, 16:28

Alistair Coleman, author of the hit book Angry People in Local Newspapers, has been speaking with Layth Yousif about the cult publication about to reach the bestsellers lists...

Yesterday, 16:00

Defender set to come against former club as Essex club make trip south of the Thames in FA Trophy

Yesterday, 15:00

The second-placed club in the London Two North East will aim to finish 2018 with another win on Saturday

Yesterday, 14:00

AFC Hornchurch manager Mark Stimson is desperate to get a win under his belt before the Christmas break to get him in the festive cheer.

Yesterday, 13:00

West Ham United chase an unprecedented fourth straight win in the Premier League when they visit struggling Fulham on Saturday.

Yesterday, 17:05

A market trader from Newbury Park has been found guilty of torching a £260,000 Ferrari during an arson attack in Emerson Park that was revenge for a business deal gone wrong.


From November, The Mercury in Romford begins to celebrate Christmas. The mall has plenty of gift ideas, fun events and activities for everyone

Vauxhall has completed its sport utility vehicle range with the third, and largest, Grandland X. We put the SUV, now available at Tony LeVoi in Romford, to the test.

“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining,” so the saying goes. So if some warm weather is making your conservatory uninhabitable, think about replacing its roof with a flat one and adding a roof lantern instead.

Newsletter Sign Up

Romford Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Education Promo

News from your area

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now