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Jan 30 2013

Harrow Police’s Weekly Blog – January 28, 2013

dal_babu2Harrow Police’s weekly blog, written this week by Chief Superintendent Dal Babu…

Last week I mentioned a card and courier scam that is doing the rounds at the moment, and still seems to be catching out members of the public, particularly the elderly. Please don’t be fooled by someone calling you up, pretending to be from your bank and saying that there have been some fraudulent transactions on your account. This message in itself is not unusual, sometimes banks do notify us if they believe our accounts have been compromised, however it’s the next step of the scam where the danger lies. The caller then asks you to key in your PIN and tells you that they will send a courier to your home address to collect your card for them to destroy. Once the fraudster has your PIN and collected your card, they spend your money!

Please don’t be fooled, banks will NEVER ask you to reveal you PIN and if they believe your card had been used fraudulently, they will tell you to destroy it yourself, at home. Please pass this information onto elderly family members, friends and neighbours to raise their awareness of this scam.

[pullquote align=”right” textalign=”left|center|right” width=”30%”]Visit actionfraud.police.uk for tips to protect yourself from fraud.[/pullquote]

We’ve had more burglaries that usual reported this week, especially in the Wealdstone and Marlborough areas, where victims have reported that jewellery and cash have been stolen. Please ensure that your home is as secure as possible by using good quality locks on doors and windows. When you are out, please remember to make your home look and sound occupied by using timer switches on lights and a radio. Ensure that side gates are fully secured to prevent anyone entering the rear of your property. Officers will be carrying out extra patrols in the areas where we’ve seen burglary increases. Please report any suspicious activity to police by calling 999.

Our colleagues from the Territorial Support Group (TSG) executed a search warrant at an address in Carmelite Road, Harrow last week where a 20-year-old woman and an 18-year-old man were arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply and money laundering. Under the Met’s pan-London, Operation Hawk, we continue to target drug dealers and bring them to justice. If you know of anyone who is selling drugs in your area call us on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

We have seen a number of personnel changes on the borough in recent days and weeks. A great loss to the MPS is Detective Chief Inspector Craig MacKinlay, who retired last week after serving over 30 years in the Metropolitan Police Service. Craig, who is a true professional with a wealth of experience, has served over four years at Harrow and has been a huge asset to the borough. Alongside his many responsibilities as DCI, Craig played a major role in setting up Harrow’s Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) which looks after vulnerable children on the borough and is based at the Civic Centre. Recognising the importance of information sharing between partner agencies, Craig highlighted the need for police officers and police staff to work alongside colleagues from the local authority and other agencies to ensure that vulnerable children, across the borough, were getting the best possible care. Although Craig is retiring from the MPS he plans to continue working and I wish Craig all the very best for the future in his new career.

We also bid a fond farewell to Lorraine Turner, a member of police staff, who has worked for the MPS for 27 years. Lorraine was in charge of the Witness Care Unit at Harrow; her role was to manage staff who liaise with witnesses and victims and to ensure they were kept up-to-date with court cases and their outcomes. I would like to thank Lorraine for her professionalism and commitment to Harrow and I wish her and her family all the very best for the future.

On a more personal note, after completing an extremely fulfilling and rewarding 30 years in the Metropolitan Police Service, I will be retiring this year. I can honestly say that I have had a great career which I have thoroughly enjoyed and would recommend to anybody. My last day, as Borough Commander of Harrow, will be Monday 4 February. I would like to thank you all for your support during my time here. I am leaving the running of the borough in the very capable hands of Acting Detective Chief Superintendent Neil Wilson until my Chief Superintendent Simon Ovens takes up his post as the newly-appointed Borough Commander of Harrow.

I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome Detective Chief Inspector Peter Stride to Harrow borough. Peter joins us from the neighbouring borough of Brent where he has served for the past three years. Peter is an experienced detective having previously worked on the Homicide and Serious Crime Command, the Trident Command (investigating gang crime) and the Department of Professional Standards.

Also joining the borough is Anila Ismaili who is an Independent Domestic Violence Adviser and will be based at Harrow Police Station. Anila will work closely with members of staff in the Community Safety Unit who investigate domestic violence, homophobia and racism.

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