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Police snub plea for help

PUBLISHED: 17:58 07 August 2008 | UPDATED: 13:20 24 August 2010

Blighted: Shop worker Babor Osman

Blighted: Shop worker Babor Osman

by Alex Wellman Petty thieves and illegal traders are blighting a busy road and shop owners believe the only way to tackle them is to launch a dedicated police team. Businesses in Kilburn High Road are calling on cops from Brent and Camd

by Alex Wellman

Petty thieves and illegal traders are blighting a busy road and shop owners believe the only way to tackle them is to launch a dedicated police team.

Businesses in Kilburn High Road are calling on cops from Brent and Camden to join forces and create a Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) specifically for the street which is home to hundreds of shops.

The road is infrequently patrolled by officers from both boroughs and has been left in the lurch on the Camden side after the ward priority was switched to the surrounding estates.

Babor Osman, supervisor, Blue Sky Carpets, said: "I don't see much police patrolling here. In fact the only time I see police is when the cars go shooting up the road.

"If we had a Safer Neighbourhood Team for the High Road then it would definitely help us as it would deter criminals and make everyone feel safer.

"We have had issues with petty thieves coming and taking things but there is also a problem with street traders. They just turn people away.

"If we had more community support officers they could get involved. It would be better for the community and better for the businesses."

Najiyb Nazari, co-owner, Value 4 Money, said: "Three times people have stolen the rack from outside my shop and I know if we had more police here this would not happen.

"One day a guy came in with blood all over his face and then went outside and smeared his blood on my window. There was no police or anything to stop him."

Traders argue that the ward meetings, when priorities for both Kilburn SNTs are decided, are an unfair representation of what is needed as they are often unable to attend.

Inspector Steve Burrell, the North Cluster Inspector from Camden Police said: "The two Kilburn Ward Safer Neighbourhoods Teams from Brent and Camden cover Kilburn High Road and work in partnership. Together the two teams have targeted illegal DVD and cigarette sellers in the past and recently completed an Automated Number Plate Reading, (ANPR) operation, targeting burglary and motor vehicle crime suspects.

"There are no plans at this stage to set up a separate team. Currently, Kilburn High Road benefits from two teams from each borough, making a total of 12 officers. To create a separate team just for Kilburn High Road would provide just 6 officers."

alex.wellman@archant.co.uk

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