A senior police officer in north-west London said she “cannot give any guarantees” that service changes will improve the area – but she vowed to “do her best” for those living there.

Superintendent Claire Clark, who will head up investigations at the new borough command unit (BCU) covering Harrow, Barnet and Brent, spoke to the public at an interactive crime and safety meeting last night.

She stood in for borough commander Simon Rose and explained that, while the alterations inevitably carry a sense of the unknown, the police will continue to work hard for the community.

“Are things going to get better? I don’t know – and I won’t know until things get underway [from Monday],” she said.

“We have improved and adapted the [BCU] structure from what we’ve learned in other areas of London.

“And I do believe I will be able to make a difference in areas that we have wanted to do for a long time. Will it be better overall? Time will tell.”

Ms Clark took questions on anti-social behaviour and the response – or in some cases, a lack of one – to low-level crime such as car break-ins.

She explained that, in these situations, it is best to report as much as possible since “the more information they have, the more chance they have of resolving it”.

She spoke passionately about the Met’s approach to knife crime, given that an “unacceptable” amount of people have been stabbed to death in London this year.

The key issue, she explained, is educating young people and reminding them that carrying a knife, in any shape or form, is “a bad idea”.

There have been concerns about how the changes will impact on people living in north-west London as services are streamlined to help cut costs.

In Harrow, officers will no longer patrol from Harrow Police Station but will operate out of Wembley.

Ms Clark noted that this will not affect the routes they cover, they will merely start and finish at a different place.

There will be a lot more focus on proactivity, she added – from tackling serious gang issues to working to prevent day-to-day crimes such as town centre anti-social behaviour.

And she pointed out that, in all cases, officers will do all they can to protect the community and put an end to anything that might threaten their security.

“They desperately want to get results,” she said. “Doing some good work and putting bad guys away is the reason we all signed up.

“There’s no greater feeling when it comes off and that is what we all want to do.”