Brent Police arrest 11 people in London-wide crackdown on criminality

Three held on suspicion of handling stolen goods

Around 11 people have been arrested today (Thursday) after a series of police swoops across the borough as part of a London wide crackdown.

The Times witnessed the arrest of a man and a woman, believed to be in their 30’s, after a swoop on a suspected drug den in Kilburn High Road uncovered two stolen passports believed to have been obtained following a burglary.

A driver was also arrested after his vehicle was pulled over in Cricklewood by officers carrying out Automatic Number Plate Recognition checks.

All are being questioned on suspicion of handling stolen goods.

A further eight people have also been arrested throughout the borough so far.

The crackdown formed part of Operation Hawk, a London wide imitative which saw up to 4,000 Safer Neighbourhood Officers and PCSO’s carry out robust and visible operations across all 32 boroughs throughout the day.

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Sergeant Paul Redfearn, from the Met’s Territorial Support Group, expressed the importance of the operation.

He said: “Drug dens are not only illegal but also fuel crime to the area; people become aware that this is a place to get illegal drugs and as a result may commit crime to be supplied with them.”

The initiative was launched on last week through a series of radio adverts, urging Londoners to pass community intelligence about crime and disorder to their Safer Neighbourhoods Teams [SNTs].

Sergeant Redfearn added: “The message of Operation Hawk is that if any information is given to us we want to show the community that we will act on it.”

In addition POLSA (Police Search Advisors) also undertook a weapons sweep in St Mary’s Church yard, in Church Road, Harlesden.

The sweep uncovered no weapons, however a gold Logines watch was found, it is not yet known whether is stolen property.

However, Sergeant Graham Day, of Queens Park Safer Neighbourhoods Team said the sweep still sent out a strong message to the local community.

He said: “This sends a strong message to the criminal fraternity and shows the community that we are being proactive.

“This cemetery has been used previously to hide weapons and the area has a history with rival gangs who have stored them here.”

Chief Superintendent Matthew Gardner, Brent Police borough commander, said that more operations of this ilk would take place in the future,

He added: “We will continue to address local crime and safety concerns to help make our local areas safer.”

Arrests will continue into the early hours of the morning.