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Oct 22 2012

Harrow Police’s Weekly Blog – October 22, 2012

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

Last Saturday, Detective Superintendent Simon Rose from Brent borough and I were interviewed by PC Mahesh Nandha on the Asian TV channel MATV. The programme focused on burglary prevention as part of the Met’s Operation Autumn Nights. I was pleased to work again with Simon who was on my team when I was promoted to Sergeant and Simon was a new PC.

Our message was designed to ensure that people do not become victims of burglary during the autumn and winter nights, which coincide with Navarati and Diwali festivals. In recent years, thefts from homes have increased between October and January leaving many families’ celebrations ruined, with treasured items being taken away forever.

“…be vigilant and make sure your home and possessions are secure.”

To help reduce the amount of burglaries of this kind, the MPS is urging residents to take a few simple measures to protect their homes and themselves. Throughout the year, and in particular during religious festivals, we are asking people to be vigilant and make sure their homes and possessions are secure.

We also advise the following:

  • Do not leave valuables on display so they can be seen from the outside.
  • Store high-value goods in a safe when you are not at home.
  • Remember to lock all your doors and windows when you leave your home unattended.
  • Consider using timer switches for lights if you are away from home.
  • Photograph any items of jewellery separately before the festivals begin.
  • Where possible, and if you are wearing or holding valuable items, always travel to and from the festival in a group using well-lit streets. Try to avoid walking alone.
  • If you drive, keep your car locked and remember where it is parked.

Two Latin American men were sentenced at Harrow Crown Court last week for burglary. Camilo Soto Contreras aged 23 of Flaxman Road, SE5 received 21 months’ imprisonment and a 16 year old youth of no fixed abode was given a Detention and Training Order for 18 months. Both were arrested back in August, in possession of a quantity of jewellery, shortly after breaking into a house in Twyford Road. This was an excellent arrest as a result of members of the public being vigilant and reporting to police the descriptions of two men acting suspiciously.

I had a meeting with Chief Superintendent Adrian Usher, Borough Commander of Barnet to discuss joint work on reducing burglaries. This was followed by us both taking part in a Navratri procession with the local Hindu community. We were accompanied by dancers and musicians, as officers and PCSOs distributed crime prevention leaflets to members of the public.

Inspector Aiden Whelan and Harrow Police Schools’ Officers have been working together with Harrow’s secondary schools to organise a poster competition themed on burglary prevention. Two local artists, Roshnia Hirani and Ann Kopka helped to judge the competition and because the standard was so high we have decided that all of the finalists will have their posters displayed across Harrow borough. Well done to Jaya Chaggar (Winner), Wajama Zazai (2nd), Anjana Tamang (3rd), Arthiga Vikenswaran, Emily Man, Remi Pindoria, Shaena Sacatani, Leah Fletcher, Deacha Bhimji and Jared Perkins,

Operation Hawk is a met-wide campaign targeting street level drug dealing and anti-social behaviour, in Harrow we execute search warrants on a daily basis. This activity has been focused on drugs addresses and last week we carried out seven drugs warrants across the borough. In addition to this, we arrested 17 people in a 24 hour period for a range of crimes. I am keen to maintain this level of activity which sends out a strong message to criminals that “we will arrest you if you offend in Harrow.” If you know of anyone in your area who is dealing drugs you can supply information anonymously to Crimestoppers 0800 555 111 or call us on 101.

I met this week with Harrow School’s Head of PE Jesse Coulson. This meeting was following on from a meeting we had last month with the Headmaster of Harrow School, Jim Hawkins and members of his staff to discuss how we can work together to assist the newly formed group Mothers Against Gangs, whose aim is to stop gang violence amongst young people. This initiative will see Harrow schoolboys working alongside local young people in our community and I look forward to seeing how this progresses.

Officer of the week is PC Sonia Ong who is a Schools’ Officer but will soon to be transfered to a role within the Youth Offending Team (YOT). Sonia has worked with passion in supporting Mothers Against Gangs, organising meetings and helping to set up activities with Harrow School and young people in Harrow.

Finally whilst executing a search warrant on a house in Stanmore last week, officers from Harrow’s Safer Transport Team recovered 11 Brompton folding bicycles. If you have recently had a Brompton stolen we would like to hear from you.  Please contact Dave.McCarthy@met.police.uk

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