CPS slammed by Dollis Hill campaigner for failing to prosecute knife crime incident in Harrow
- Credit: Archant
Prosecution chiefs have been slammed by an anti-crime campaigner after dismissing a trial to bring an alleged group of knife carriers to justice.
Alison Hopkins, who is on a Safer Neighbourhood Panel (SNP) in Dollis Hill, turned up to testify against three people at Willesden Magistrates’ Court on January 12 when the case was suddenly dismissed.
Former Liberal Democrat councillor Alison Hopkins has since put in a complaint to the Crime Prosecution Service (CPS).
She said: “I’m extremely annoyed. The CPS shouldn’t have dropped a knife crime. These were people who had a huge knife in Harrow town centre with shoppers close by and it was really dangerous.
“Police have to deal with the aftermath of knife crime all the time. They put their lives at risk and then it gets screwed up. I’m extremely angry.”
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Ms Hopkins said she saw a woman threatening passersby with a knife in Station Road, Harrow, on October 3, who was accompanied by two men, all of whom she claimed “had been drinking”.
She called 999 and said police arrived within 90 seconds. Agreeing to give a statement, she spent the next few hours in Harrow Police Station and agreed to testify in court.
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While waiting to be called to the courtroom on January 12 a prosecution barrister informed her the case had been discontinued.
She added: “Given what happens, how am I supposed to encourage people to report crime in the future? How can knife crime be discouraged, so that people can use their town centres without fear?”
A CPS spokeswoman said: “More than eight out of ten defendants prosecuted by the CPS for knife crime offences were convicted in the last financial year. The CPS takes knife crime very seriously and where possible we will work closely with the police to put strong cases before the courts.
“However, following a review of this particular case in advance of the trial, we determined there was no longer a realistic prospect of conviction and were unable to continue with this prosecution.”