Barking and Dagenham police to merge forces with Havering and Redbridge

Borough Commander Sean Wilson

Borough Commander Sean Wilson - Credit: Archant

Barking and Dagenham police will merge forces with Havering and Redbridge in a ground-breaking new partnership from January.

Although plans are yet to be finalised, the three boroughs will be among the first five across the capital to roll-out the so-called “pathfinder scheme”, together with Camden and Islington who will form their own partnership.

While the move will not result in redundancies, the ranks of chief inspector and commander will be scrapped.

“I’ve seen the numbers and this isn’t about cutting the number of officers and it’s not about saving money,” said borough commander Supt Sean Wilson.

“In fact when you look around what we’re doing we will actually see an increasing number of officers on the ground.

“I’m actually quite excited by it. As crime and crime trends are evolving, we as an organisation have to go forward and evolve with them.

“This will definitely change the way we work.”

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The move follows a detailed consultation with Deputy Mayor of London for policing and crime Sophie Linden and planning will be ongoing for the next few months.

It is hoped closer interaction with neighbouring boroughs will help address changes to criminal activity.

“At the moment we already have a lot of dealing with the other boroughs which is good because a lot of my crime is cross-borough, it’s organised,” added Supt Wilson.

“By that I don’t mean hordes of cartels, low-level crime is organised so we need to make sure we have the correct in order to respond to that.

“I firmly believe it’s the right way to go. It will allow us to focus on what’s important, particularly around how we protect and serve our communities.”

While the system will only affect five boroughs for now, Supt Wilson believes the whole of London could face facing similar changes in the future.

“I don’t think anything is certain,” he added.

“We’ll have to see how the pathfinders go, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this system is rolled out across the whole of London over the next few years.”

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