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Harrow police watchdog to be replaced
A police watchdog run by members of the community for more than 30 years is set to be replaced under plans from the Mayor of London.
The Harrow Police and Community Consultative Group (HPCCG) will hold its final meeting in March before it is replaced by new Safer Neighbourhood Ward panels.
Committee members say they are upset at being replaced by the new panels, ordered by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) at City Hall and due to be introduced in April.
HPCCG chairman Baldev Sharma, who has been a member for more than 20 years, said: “We have been here to hold the police to account in the area and it is sad to see it go.
“It has been a great venture. The police were made aware of what’s going on in the area and we were able to ensure the safety of the people in Harrow was their priority.”
Panel members will be elected by public vote after individuals put themselves forward for the roles in the coming months.
Mr Sharma said he was concerned the new set-up would not be as effective as the HPCCG but MOPAC insists the move is positive.
A MOPAC spokesman said: “The purpose for establishing neighbourhood teams in each borough is to give Londoners and victims a greater voice.
“A key part of their role will be to monitor police performance and confidence in the police, which they will do by opening meetings to the public, monitoring feedback from victims of crime and accessing police data and reports about incidents in their area.
“To drive this forward in Harrow, 12 members of the community will be selected by the borough to form their safer neighbourhood team.
"Young people, victims of crime and the local authority must be represented, but the purpose is to let boroughs decide for themselves who will make up the panel and how they will deliver their responsibilities.
“This approach to give the local community far greater involvement in policing their area was agreed by members of the existing Harrow Police and Community Consultative Group at a meeting held by Stephen Greenhalgh, Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, in October.”
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