Brent: Councillor cleared of wrong doing after police raid

Kenton councillor Reg Colwill cleared of wrong doing after firearms officers raid his home

A councillor whose home was searched by firearms officers in a ‘terrifying dawn raid’ has been cleared of any wrong doing by police.

Cllr Reg Colwill, who represents Kenton ward and is deputy leader of the Conservative group on Brent Council, said he was delighted after police officers wrote exonerating him and his family of any criminal activity.

The letter comes after firearms officers in August stormed Cllr Colwill’s house, in Draycott Avenue, where he lives with his wife, adult daughter, her partner and his brother.

The two brothers, who were arrested for money laundering and actual bodily harm, were both also cleared of any wrong doing.

Cllr Colwill, who has always insisted on his and his family’s innocence, said the clearance marks the end of an upsetting ordeal which has engulfed his family.

He said: “It is a relief. It was a great trauma for me and my family, especially my daughter, and it took a while for us to get over the shock.

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“I place no blame whatsoever onto the police for the circumstances of the raid as they were simply doing their job. “However, I do feel that the methods used were excessive and draconian and that once the boys were handcuffed and secure, there was no need to drag them out into the street in their underwear and leave them there for half an hour.

“I will be seeking advice as to whether this was an infringement of their human rights.”

Cllr Colwill ruled out making a formal complaint against police, but did confirm that he would support the two me arrested if they wanted to.

He is also seeking damages for property broken during the raid.

The letter, signed by John Hazeldine, from Hertfordshire Police, who conducted the raid, also apologises to the Colwill family for any distress caused.

It states: “Although the investigation involved the deployment of police officers to search your home the intention of the operation did not include any arrests of the Colwill family.

“I also accept that whilst the police operation was considered essential in the investigation of a serious criminal allegation, it has unfortunately caused some distress to you personally. This distress is always regrettable.”

Cllr Colwill, who was away from home looking after a friend’s dog when the raid took place, added: “I would like to thank all of my neighbours and friends for their support during this period and all three political groups in Brent who gave me the benefit of the doubt until all of the facts were known.

“I would also like to thank the press for their handling of the original story.”

A police spokeswoman said: “Police activity of this nature is intelligence led and warrants and operations planned and executed with great care. To date no formal complaints have been lodged against Hertfordshire Constabulary in relation to this operation. Should this situation change we will make an appropriate response to those concerned.”