Crowdfunding is now taking shape as a method of supporting communities and a recent campaign announcement of an affluent north London community hit by an increase in crime highlights this fact. Hampstead police station was closed in January 2014 and residents believe the lack of police presence in the town is a contributing factor for why crime has risen.
A meeting held last summer with the borough police commander and more than 200 residents agreed to have officers temporarily placed on the streets of the town, and Ms Learmond-Criqui said it brought an end to the crime spree that had been taking place since the closure of the local station. Ms Jessica Learmond-Criqui, chairman of the Frognal and Fitzjohns Safer neighbourhood panel later learned about a scheme which would allow residents to pay for their own police officers, employed by the Metropolitan Police but solely serving Hampstead.
The scheme called the Mopac MetPatrol Plus allows local authorities to pay for police officers to be dedicated to a specific area – and Hampstead residents are hopeful they will be able to benefit from the scheme if they fund the purchase. The awareness of the scheme prompted the creation of a petition to the Prime Minister to give the Metropolitan Police more resources and deploy them in Hampstead.
The idea was put to residents and community figures on September 22, with people asked how much they would be willing to contribute during a three year period to help the proposal come to fruition. The scheme has now been setup to pay for local officers and has received pledges of £180,000 – 30 per cent of the overall target – from residents in just six weeks.
Overall cost of the scheme amounts to £600,000 for three years and the cash promised so far will fund one dedicated ward officer under a scheme which would then see the Met match fund another officer for the neighbourhood.
This highlights that crowdfunding can make a change in our community and on a positive note the overall aim is to raise £200,000 a year from 18,000 people contributing just £13 per annum ensuring a safer environment with five officers and a sergeant.
“Crowdfunding supports safety in an affluent north London community“