Brent Police admit scoring ‘an own goal’ by holding meeting for Stonebridge residents in Wembley Park

Just one person turned up to event held to discuss police raids across the estate

Police have admitted scoring an own goal by organising a community meeting for Stonebridge residents on the other side of the borough – after just one person turned up.

The meeting was held last night (Thursday) following a series of police raids on the estate in which 16 suspected members of the ‘Thugs of Stonebridge’ gang were arrested hours before.

The event at Sattavis Patidar Centre in Forty Avenue, Wembley, was organised by police to reassure residents following the raids.

However, critics are unhappy that not only was the meeting announced at short notice but it was held in a location where residents would have to drive for 20 minutes or take two buses to get there.

Robert Quaye, the vice-chair of Hillside Housing Trust, who manages properties on the estate, said he thought not enough people had been made aware that the event was happening.

He said: “The problem is information comes through panels such as Safer Neighbourhood Teams, which are linked to wards not specific areas.”

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“Everyone in the community should be told if something on this scale is going to happen. It should be organised by local community groups and housing associations so that everyone has a decision about what goes on.”

Another resident, who asked not be named, said: “If the police really wanted to speak to the community they would have held it in the hub in Hillside, the Pavilion or Bridge Park.

“By holding it in Wembley Park they know no one will turn up.”

Detective Superintendent Steve Kershaw, admitted police ‘scored an own goal’, he added: “We want the people of Stonebridge to have their say and that is why we arranged this as soon as possible after the raids.

“Unfortunately this was arranged at very short notice and we had to find a venue on the night.

“We absolutely plan to meet in the estate itself within the next few weeks.”

A spokesman for Brent Council, who provided the venue, said the Sattavis Patidar Centre was the ‘best venue available’ on the night and there was nothing nearer.