The Parish Lock-Up was formally unveiled in September 1981 by Sir David McNee the Commissioner of The Metropolitan Police from 1977 to 1982. He was Britain’s most senior police officer at a time of racial, political, and industrial turmoil in London.
The Brixton and Southall riots, the siege of the Iranian embassy and the break-in at Buckingham Palace by Michael Fagan all took place under his watch! Yet he still made the time to come to Hampstead and unveil this plaque and speak these words: “We are the people’s police, putting service before force, remaining independent with the primary role of preventing and detecting crime”.
The lock-up served the local parish for nearly 100 years, but relinquished custody of its occupants to the new police created in 1829. As this lock-up closed, so the history of the Metropolitan Police began. It is part of the history of policing in London”.