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MP Gareth Thomas slams proposals to close Harrow custody suites
An MP has slammed police proposals to close custody suites in Harrow and merge them with Brent's.
The cells at Harrow Police Station, which are used 5,000 to 6,000 times a year, may be shut under the Metropolitan Police’s modernisation program.
This means that people arrested in the borough will be taken to a station in neighbouring Brent instead.
But Gareth Thomas, MP for Harrow West, calls the proposals a “disaster”, because it means Harrow CID’s officers will spend more time out of the borough interviewing suspects.
He said: “There will be less officers in the streets of Harrow, which will weaken the capacity of how police respond to crime in the borough.
“It’s a huge waste of time to take officers out of Harrow and this will have a disastrous effect on crime rates, especially at a time we are trying to cut crime down.
“I’m really horrified about these proposals and sincerely hope they don’t materialise.”
“I estimate that Harrow will lose around 50 officers on the streets if the plans are to go ahead, and we can’t afford to lose them.”
A statement issued by the MPA said the proposals would make the “best use of MPS investment in larger modern facilities in neighbouring boroughs”.
It added: “These larger suites offer significant advantages over small Victorian facilities, that were not designed with modern policing in mind.
“As a consequence of this approach, it is intended that custody facilities in Brent will support Harrow.”