Community police may patrol Islington after 10pm

COMMUNITY police officers may soon be on duty all night, according to the borough’s top policeman.

Chief Superintendent Mike Wise, the borough commander of Islington police, told residents that Safer Neighbourhoods teams may work through the night to deal with vandalism and other late-night crimes in their wards.

While most anti-social behaviour occurs late at night, the teams - whose priorities are set by local residents - are not normally available after 10pm.

Chief Superintendent Wise said this might change at a public meeting held at Islington Town Hall to discuss safety in the borough.

He said: “We are looking at the neighbourhood PC teams and the hours that they work”, adding that the most important question was whether the Safer Neighbourhood teams were “on at the right time for the demand of the wards that they serve”.

Chief Superintendent Wise admitted that the issue was particularly important as winter approaches. He said: “What is important is that during peak times, particularly now that the clocks have gone back, we have got a significant police operation across the borough.”

A resident representing tenants and residents in the Mildmay area told the meeting: “We get loads and loads of problems where we live. And the community police are only available until 10pm. We need them after that time because that is when the trouble starts - late in the evening now the dark nights are upon us. There have been five stabbings in a month in the area.”

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Chief Superintendent Wise suggested that the decision would probably have to be made at a pan-London level but the Metropolitan Police have confirmed that the decision could be made on a borough by borough basis.

An Islington police spokeswoman said: “Currently, there are several development projects being looked at from a central perspective - some of this is to do with the 24-hour response and also Safer Neighbourhoods teams.

“Islington borough is at the early stages of this consultation with partners and local communities through ward panels. This process is likely to take until after Christmas.”