Brent councillor’s raid ordeal
Firearms officers have raided the home of a Conservative councillor, where they arrested two men for money laundering and immigration offences and seized cash, writes Kate Ferguson. Armed police swooped on Kenton ward Cllr Reg Colwill s home in Draycott
Firearms officers have raided the home of a Conservative councillor, where they arrested two men for money laundering and immigration offences and seized cash, writes Kate Ferguson.
Armed police swooped on Kenton ward Cllr Reg Colwill's home in Draycott Avenue, at around 5.30am on Friday morning.
A 30-year-old man was arrested for actual bodily harm and money laundering and a 24-year old man, was arrested for money laundering and immigration offences.
The men, who are brothers, were both bailed and were due to appear at a Hatfield police station last night.
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Cllr Colwill, who is deputy leader of the Conservative group on Brent Council, insists he and his family are innocent of any criminal activity.
Mr Colwill was not arrested and said the two men were not family, but were brothers who had been staying at his home.
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One of them is the boyfriend of his daughter.
Cllr Colwill said: "This raid was a terrifying ordeal for my family, who are totally innocent of any wrongdoing.
"Officers came in with machine guns which they pointed at my daughter and the two men.
"They then restrained and arrested the men, but still dragged them out in their underwear in front of all our neighbours. It sounded inhumane."
Neighbours told how they woke to the sound of heavily armed police breaking down Cllr Colwill's front door.
A neighbour, who wanted to remain anonymous, said: "I woke at around 5.30am and heard men's voices shouting, and whimpering sounds of dogs.
"I was scared and didn't know what was going on.
"I've lived here for the past five years, and grew up here as a child, and it is the first time I have ever known a raid like that to take place. It makes you wonder."
Another neighbour, Indira Patel, an acupuncturist, said the noise woke her elderly mother. She said: "There were loads of police in the street from around six in the morning.
"It woke my 88-year-old mother, she didn't understand what was going on. I explained to her that it was probably an early morning raid, but it was very shocking."
Mr Colwill, who was looking after a dog at a friend's house with his wife when he received a phone call telling him about the raid, said his family have been left shocked and traumatised by the 'terrifying ordeal'.
He added that he was considering lodging a complaint against the police's tactics, which he described as heavy handed.
He said: "I understand the police have a difficult job to do, and when I arrived home they were very helpful, and showed me what they had done.
"But they didn't need to treat those two men like that. They could have covered them up.
"I will lodge a complaint on things which I have heard that happened which I think are a breach of their human rights."
But the police defended the decision to search his home.
A police spokeswoman said: "A full risk assessment was carried out with the met police before we conducted that warrant.
"We assessed the risks before and we acted accordingly."
The two men are back living with Mr Colwill at his family home.