Brent’s former mayor calls for greater stop & search measures after grandson is mugged in Wembley

Bertha Joseph

Bertha Joseph - Credit: Archant

Brent’s former mayor Bertha Joseph is calling for more use of stop and search powers by police after her grandson was mugged at knifepoint.

The 14-year-old was running errands for his mum at a shop in Harrow Road, Wembley, on January 22 when he was approached by a man demanding money.

When the schoolboy said he had no cash the thief said he was carrying a knife and tried to lure him away from the store. He refused.

Then the man told him to take him back to his house to get money there and again the boy refused, saying his family were there.

Finally he handed over his new iPhone and was told: “Don’t you dare block it.”

Ms Joseph said: “This has got to my heart. You can see my grandson is struggling – he is shocked.

“I am shocked. He’s a young man who goes to school, is doing well, he’s so innocent. I never thought that would happen to him.”

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Outspoken Ms Joseph, who has twice served as Brent’s mayor in 1998/9 and 2006/7, would like to see greater stop and search powers rolled out.

She added: “It’s a start, isn’t it? I am fed up with young, innocent children being targeted by hoodlums who target the innocent we then have do-gooders who criticise stop and search.”

Ms Joseph defected from Labour to the Conservatives in 2007.

“I have always advocated for stop and search,” she said, “because it saves lives.

“If this perpetrator was stopped and searched he would not have had a knife.

“In the minds of young people it’s OK to mug people – it’s OK to carry a knife. It’s not.”

She mentioned 15-year-old Quamari Serunkuma Barnes, who was fatally stabbed outside Capital City Academy on January 23, 2017.

“I know I’m very lucky,” she added. “For every family who receive that awful phone call, I feel for you. I have shed tears for the many families who received worse calls than I did. Only God knows how they felt.

“I will not rest until the police apprehend that perpetrator as I do not want him attacking another child.”