Dec 06 2011

Borough Commander’s Blog – December 5, 2011

Chief Superintendent Dal Babu’s weekly Blog…

I am pleased to introduce the new Deputy Borough Commander, Detective Superintendent Neil Wilson, who has joined Harrow borough this week. Neil has extensive policing experience across London and will be a huge asset to our borough. He has set himself an ambitious plan to meet as many of the officers and staff over the next month . As Deputy Borough Commander, Neil will also be liaising with key community leaders and I look forward to introducing him to key stakeholders. Neil is a keen cyclist and, on that alone, I expect us to have a very positive working relationship.

We have seen a number of cannabis factories appear on the borough over the last year . To raise awareness of cannabis factories and the tell-tale signs to look out for, Detective Inspector Nigel Burnell and Detective Sergeant Andy Simpson gave a presentation to more than 50 private landlords at the Civic Centre last week. Landlords were advised to be on the look out for any prospective tenants who have suspicious looking identity documents and are offering cash payments as deposits and rental money. They were also advised to be aware of: pungent smells, blacked out windows and strange comings and goings. Harrow CID recently charged two men with cannabis production after they were arrested at a house in Kenmore Avenue, Harrow. Minh Luong aged 21 and Tuyen VU aged 38 both pleaded guilty on Tuesday 15 November and are due to be sentenced this month.

I was out on patrol this week and was delighted with the positive response I got from our communities. I will be repeating this in the run up to Christmas. I was also on night duty during the industrial action this week. Harrow officers, staff and volunteers worked extremely hard to provide policing during what proved to be a very busy night.

The annual Police Remembrance Day Ceremony was held at Hendon Peace Garden this week. This was a very sad day when the relatives of officers, who have died on duty, are remembered by their loved ones . This year was particularly poignant for Harrow, as we remembered PC Ian Swadling who died following a motorcycle crash on his way home from duty. Ian’s wife Katrina attended with her mother Catherine O’Sullivan (known as Kitty), Katrina’s sister, Sarah O’Sullivan and Katrina and Ian’s two children Jack, and newly born Olivia, who sadly was born after Ian died. It was a very moving ceremony and I was struck by what an amazing woman Katrina is and also what a great mother and sister she has. Kitty reminded me of my own mother, a strong loving parent, who has given her children a great start in life. They are a very close family and Katrina’s sisters and brother have been very supportive during this very difficult period. I can see why Ian loved spending time with his in-laws.

PC Glenn Johnson from C team made an excellent arrest last week of a man who police wanted to speak to in connection with a burglary in Courtenay Avenue. Shortly after the call came through, PC Johnson saw a man matching the description of the suspect in a nearby street. A 45 year old man has been bailed to return to a date later this month. Four other men were charged with burglary offences that day. Jamie Frenchum aged 19 of Ford Close, Harrow, Ross Gauntleet aged 23 of South Hill Avenue, Harrow, Charlie Reeder aged 18 of Barnhurst Path, Watford and Richmond Hazeley-Wilson aged 22 of Selsdon Road, London. We await the outcome of the court results for these offenders.

I will be sending out Christmas cards next week with a crime prevention theme. This year’s card was designed by seven year old Keeya Rae from class 3M at Vaughan Primary School. During a school assembly, I took the opportunity to remind the children of some basic crime prevention measures they can take to avoid their homes being burgled. The children promised that they would pass on this advice to their parents:

  • Install a burglar alarm
  • Lock all doors and windows when you go out
  • Put timer switches on your lights to make your house look occupied
  • Don’t leave Christmas presents under the tree

For a more comprehensive guide to burglary crime prevention, click on the logo on our homepage.

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, visited the borough last week to launch the Mayor’s Safer park Awards. It’s good to see Harrow doing so well as Harrow Council, working together with the police and the communities, picked up three Gold Park Awards. After the launch, Mr Johnson had a private meeting at Kirkland House with A Team and the officers who were injured following the arrest of a man in Kingsbury.

I presented prizes to police cadets from across London when I attended the Annual Volunteer Police Cadet (VPC) Award Ceremony in the Great Hall in Kensington on Sunday. Harrow’s cadets, Nikhar Kothari, Charmaine Green, Karen Street, Jessica Pollard and Dave Anderson were awarded the prestigious Jack Petchy Award. The Police Cadets are a great bunch of young people who are full of energy and a real asset to our Harrow.

Finally, the 32 London Borough Commanders have had a meeting with the new Commissioner, Bernard Hogan-Howe. The meeting was an opportunity for us discuss the challenges we face as we rapidly approach next year and the Olympics.

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