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Mar 19 2013

Harrow Police’s Weekly Blog – February 18, 2013

police_lantern_2-150x150Harrow Police’s weekly blog, written this week by Borough Commander Neil Wilson…

If you live in the North Harrow area, you may have noticed some extra police activity this week as officers from Headstone North and South Safer Neighbourhoods teams have been holding a Week of Action. Lots of community engagement events have taken place with officers visiting schools to deliver crime prevention advice to pupils, especially around street crime and theft of mobile phones.

The Volunteer Police Cadets have been manning crime prevention stalls, offering members of the public advice against bogus callers and how to protect their homes. Officers have also been visiting licensed premises to check they are following the conditions of their license and officers on bicycles have been carrying out extra patrols in burglary hot-spot areas. Safer Neighbourhoods teams are dedicated to your community to find out who your team is go to the Safer Neighbourhoods page on this website.

[pullquote align=”right” textalign=”left|center|right” width=”30%”]”Police officers never know what they will be faced with on a day-to-day basis…”[/pullquote]

Tackling burglary remains a priority for us and this week extra burglary patrols, led by Sergeant Roni Doyle, have been continuing across the borough.

Officers were called to reports of a burglary at an opticians in Hatch End in the early hours one day last week, after a neighbour reported hearing smashing glass. A short while later a white van which was seen in the location of the burglary was stopped in Whitchurch Avenue, Edgware and a 26-year-old man and a 24-year-old woman were arrested after officers discovered a large quantity of designer sunglasses in the footwell of the vehicle. Both suspects have been bailed to a date in April.

Whilst on another early morning patrol, officers pulled up next to a car waiting at traffic lights at the junction of Pinner Road and Headstone Lane that had been linked to a burglary a few days earlier. Officers followed the car into Headstone Lane, before it drove off at speed. The car turned into Parkfield Avenue, then into Parkfield Crescent before coming to a stop in Verwood Road where both the driver and the passenger decamped. A search of the area was carried out with the help of our colleagues from the air support unit and a 19-year-old man was arrested shortly afterwards on suspicion of failing to stop and theft of a motor vehicle.

Police officers never know what they will be faced with on a day-to-day basis and have to be prepared for any situation that might arise. Thanks to the quick thinking of Inspectors Debbie Calaby and Jack Murray, a 44-year-old man who was seen walking along the Northolt Road, South Harrow carrying a knife last week was quickly apprehended and arrested. Inspector Calaby who was on duty at the time, was on her way to a meeting when she noticed a man, who appeared to be in an angry state, walking along the road carrying a knife in his hand.
Inspector Calaby followed the man and saw him take the knife, which he had stolen from a nearby shop, out of its packaging and enter a kebab shop. The man, still holding the knife, re-appeared from the kebab shop with another man and were talking in raised voices, gaining the attention of several passers-by. Fearing that the situation might escalate further, Inspector Calaby identified herself as a police officer and told the man to put the knife down. The man eventually did and Inspector Calaby placed her foot on the knife so that he was unable to retrieve it. The man then turned and walked off, enabling the Inspector to pick up the knife for safe keeping. Inspector Calaby, who was now joined by Inspector Jack Murray, followed the man before catching up with him a short distance away. Response team officers arrived to assist and the man was stopped, searched and subsequently arrested for theft, affray and being in possession of an offensive weapon. Thankfully on this occasion, the incident was over and done with very quickly with no one getting hurt or injured.

As part of Operation Cubo, we have been running road checks across the borough, targeting unlicensed drivers, uninsured vehicles and catching criminals travelling on our roads to commit crime. Two sites were set up last week, one in the High Road,Wealdstone and the other in Lowlands Road, Harrow which were in operation between 7 am and 6 pm. During this period over 339 vehicles were stopped and the occupants spoken to. Four uninsured vehicles were seized and £200 in fines issued. A further four people were reported for not wearing seat belts and not having MOTs for their cars. In addition to this, six people were arrested for offences of robbery, burglary, theft, handling stolen goods and going equipped to steal.

Acting Superintendent, Ben Honey opened a training session at Harrow Council’s depot in Forward Drive for forty newly recruited Neighbourhood Champions. Superintendent Honey gave a brief overview to the new recruits explaining the benefits of the scheme, what sort of issues they can report and the value that Neighbourhood Champions bring to help make Harrow one of the safest boroughs in London. After the initial introductions, the Neighbourhood Champions broke into groups and were given a more detailed explanation from various departments within the council who are involved in the scheme. We now have over 850 dedicated Neighbourhood Champions trained for the role. If you would like to find out more about becoming a Neighbourhood Champion, see related links.

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