Thefts in Merton are on the up but crimes including burglary, robbery and criminal damage are down according to police figures.

Dozens of residents and councillors made their voices heard at a policing roadshow on Tuesday – the first stop in a tour across London following major changes to how the Metropolitan Police Service operates last year.

The changes saw four safer neighbourhood bases closed, remaining bases converted to temporarily open contact points and Mitcham police station closed to the public at night.

Members of the public questioned the effectiveness of the new model, which promised to put more officers on the streets.

Figures put forward by the Greater London Authority and the Met Police state 107 neighbourhood officers will be deployed across Merton by 2015, almost double the number working in the borough in 2011, and six more than now.

Despite the news that personal thefts had increased by 14 per cent in the 12 months to December, acting borough commander David Palmer, who took over from suspended Darren Williams last week, said there was a 46 per cent reduction in reported theft from a person including muggings, in Wimbledon town centre.

Superintendent Palmer said: “The theft against the person issue is something we are really keen to get down.

“This tends to be associated with town centres, none more so than Wimbledon town centre.”