Weapons sweep in Harlesden as police say; 'We're better than this'
PUBLISHED: 19:21 08 May 2017 | UPDATED: 14:47 28 March 2018
Police have been conducting a weapons sweep in Harlesden as part of a London-wide knife amnesty.
Officers were in Church Road on Friday as part of Operation Sceptre.
A 17-year-old boy is in hospital following a stabbing in Wembley High Road on Thursday afternoon.
Officers found a number of knives as part of the intense weapon sweeps and intelligence-led policing operations to confiscate knives and tackle those wanted in connection with knife-related offences and violent crime.
Phase eight of OS, which was launched on Wednesday, involves the Met working directly with schools to divert young people from knife crime, which is already practised within the borough.
Danny Coyle, headteacher at Newman Catholic College in Harlesden Road, said: “We are proud to have an outstanding relationship with the police. The school and the local environment are a far better place because of our relationship with the police and in particular our dedicated safer schools officer.
“Our relationship with the police works on a variety of levels. Police come into the school to do assemblies on issues such as drug awareness, cyber-crime, knife safety awareness, keeping safe on the streets, plus issues such as Prevent, the anti-extremism initiative, and an awareness of any gang problems.
“We also conduct frequent safety arches which are well received by pupils, teachers and parents alike. These are conducted in an atmosphere of good humour and have the additional benefit of developing positive relationships with the police and young people.
“Experience has taught us that many problems are solved in advance because of our safer schools officer. This enables interventions to take place and diversion programmes such as the Police Cadets run here very successfully.”
Cllr Zaffar Van Kalwala, of Stonebridge ward, said: “Every stabbing on the streets of Brent is an utter tragedy. I’m extremely concerned about the rise in knife crime in the borough. We need to send a clear message that carrying a knife is something that will not be tolerated. We also need to bust the myth that a knife can protect you – It won’t. It is more likely to ruin or worse, end your life.
“As always, we need a more joined up approach and targeting money where it is most needed. This will help us to support those parts of Brent which are struggling and provide much needed services to young people, including initiatives to tackle serious youth violence and provide proper youth facilities and employment opportunities.”
Det Ch Supt Michael Gallagher, the Met’s silver lead for knife crime, said: “This operation carries a positive and powerful message: this is about all of us addressing a problem that often has tragic consequences.
“This behaviour is damaging our communities; there is no excuse, people are better than this and our communities are better than this.”
He added: “A collaborative and cohesive approach between statutory agencies, non-governmental organisations and communities is the only solution to achieving a long term reduction in this type of offence, underpinned by a strong academic evidence base and effective police enforcement.”
Anyone who is concerned for someone involved in knife crime or to find the location of knife bins in the borough should visit met.police.uk/StopKnifeCrime