From the borough commander: 'Serious violence offences have declined in the past year'

Hard Calls Save Lives

The Met police are supporting the Hard Calls Save Lives campaign - Credit: Met Police

As BCU Commander for Barnet, Brent and Harrow, my number one priority is for the ongoing safety of the NW BCU (basic command unit) for all those who live, work and visit here.

Serious violence offences have declined over the past year, however, NW BCU will continue to drive violence down and will employ every tactic available to us to do so. These range from the local Safer Neighbourhoods Teams gathering intelligence and conducting weapons sweeps, to our Violence Suppression Unit and BCU Tasking Teams conducting intelligence led patrols, stop and searches and acting on information we receive to obtain and execute warrants.

In the coming months, our Summer Nights initiative will return. This will see an enhancement to this kind of activity; along with additional patrols from our Special Constables, and community engagement and youth diversion events involving our Volunteer Police Cadets.

Borough commander Sarah Leech

Borough commander Sarah Leach will continue to drive violence down - Credit: Met Police

Over the past 12 months, there have been 125 incidents of knife crime reported to police in Brent and over 75 per cent of these offences have resulted in the charge or caution of the suspect. Research suggests that the prime motivations for carrying knives are fear, victimisation, peer-pressure and fashion; coupled with the wider cultural influences of music, social media and gaming.

Centrally, the Metropolitan Police are supporting Hard Calls Save Lives; a campaign encouraging people to call Crimestoppers anonymously to help prevent knife crime. The campaign features five mothers talking about calls they had to make after their sons were killed; acknowledging that whilst giving information about a loved one or friend carrying a knife is hard, there are far harder calls to make once it is too late.

One of the stories featured is Lillian’s, whose son Quamari, 15, was stabbed to death on his way home from school in Willesden. I cannot do justice to her story and so I would urge you to watch the video for yourself. I hope this hard hitting campaign will encourage people to make these calls and play a role in saving lives.

  • Hard Calls Save Lives. Are you close to someone on the fringes of knife crime? Do the right thing, please give information, 100 per cent anonymously, through the independent charity Crimestoppers. No piece of information about knife crime is insignificant or too small. Crimestoppers never ask your name and they cannot trace your call, your IP address or the device you use. Fill in their quick online form or call 0800 555 111.