Brent’s top cop: ‘Two murders in four days was a challenging week for the borough’

Chief Superintendent Michael Gallagher

Chief Superintendent Michael Gallagher - Credit: Archant

Last week was a challenging week for our borough as we were met with the senseless killings of Granville Thomas and Romario Green in two separate murders in Harlesden and Sudbury.

Fortunately these types of tragic events are the exception rather than the norm and in fact I cannot recall a time in my service to the Borough when there was such a similar event.

The incidents were unrelated, in different parts of the borough and are both being investigated by specialist detectives from the Homicide and Serious Crime Command.

One person has been charged and remanded in custody for the Harlesden offence and others are actively being sought in relation to the Sudbury offence.

I have reviewed the circumstances surrounding each of the incidents and considered the policing response in consultation with our partners from the Local Authority, Independent Advisory Group and Local Councillors.

My message is very clear. Any loss of life under these circumstances is not acceptable and cannot be justified. My officers will use every legitimate tactic to disrupt those who carry weapons or are intent on causing harm to others.

This means that there will be more targeted stop and search of those suspected of carrying weapons, more search warrants being executed to disrupt those intent on causing harm and more searches of open spaces to retrieve concealed weapons. In addition there will be enhanced patrols within each of the affected areas to provide reassurance to the community.

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We will also continue to work with our partners and other professionals within local authority, health, charitable organisations and the community to increase the number of ‘Call Ins’ that we hold where those persons who are most likely to be involved in violence, and their family members, are invited to hear from professionals about the consequences, impact and devastation that their actions have on their own and other peoples lives and offer diversionary opportunities to remove them from criminality.

Since October 2014 we have increased patrols and activity in key areas of the borough to reduce violence and other crime. Since then we have seen significant reduction in crime in the Harlesden and Stonebridge areas.

This activity will continue, and dependent upon intelligence and analysis, will be extended to other parts of the borough.

Let us not forget that Brent is a fantastically diverse and vibrant borough in which our young people and communities thrive. We need to support each other and work together to keep it this way.

Please contact your local police or crime stoppers if you have any information relating to the two deaths I have spoken about or any other persons who are involved in criminal activity.