Biggest changes to Islington’s policing for years come into force

A man has been arrested after shouting racial abuse during a religious procession

A man has been arrested after shouting racial abuse during a religious procession - Credit: Archant

One of the biggest police shake-ups in Islington for many years took place on Monday, with the borough being split into four neighbourhoods each with its own ‘sheriff’ in charge.

Islington breakdown

Islington breakdown - Credit: Archant

The new police and crime plan, which affects the whole of London, sees the old Safer Neighbourhoods Teams (SNT) replaced.

Under the new scheme, Islington will be divided into North, South, East and West ‘neighbourhoods’ each with their own dedicated inspector, or ‘sheriff’, with one detective sergeant, plus a dedicated Pc and PCSO for each ward.

But amid lurid tales of cuts, Insp Richard Padwell, sheriff of the east neighbourhood, says there will be more bobbies on the beat than ever.

“There will be around double the number of officers that there used to be, a much greater coverage and a lot more resources,” he said. “More Pcs and more sergeants.

“Plus the Pcs assigned to wards are ring-fenced – they can’t be taken away for other duties.

“In the east neighbourhood, there will be a team working from 7am to 11pm during the week, and until 5am Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

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“Serious crime will still be dealt with by other units, but neighbourhood crime will be dealt with by a neighbourhood team, which gives us greater ownership.

“I think that’s the idea of using the slang ‘sheriff’. There giving you more accountability as inspector of you neighbourhood.”

The east cluster is made up of Finsbury Park, Highbury East, Highbury West and Mildmay and Insp Padwell is clear about the challenges facing his new team.

“We will be tackling antisocial behaviour on the Andover and Six Acres estates – building on the great work done already over the last six months.

“Aggressive begging is something else we want to reduce, along with street drinkers being a nuisance to residents.

“Theft, burglary, people having their phones stolen are other things we will be focusing on.

“But we are very interested to hear from people, to find out what they are concerned about, so we can try and deal with it.”