How legislation changes will affect the most violent offenders in Brent

Chief Superintendent Michael Gallagher

Chief Superintendent Michael Gallagher - Credit: Archant

Every week Chief Superintendent Michael Gallagher, Brent Police borough commander, writes a column to inform Times readers about the latest policing activity happening in the borough. Today he talks about changes in legislation that will affect violent offenders.

This week I am going to discuss a change in legislation that will affect our most violent offenders.

On Friday, the new ‘two-strikes’ sentence comes into effect. Adults convicted more than once of possession of a blade face a minimum six month sentence and maximum of four years.

Young offenders, aged 16 and 17, will face a minimum four month detention and training order.

As part of our activity to tackle an increase in knife and gun crime offences, we’ve launched a Met-wide three month initiative called Operation Teal.

This began on June 22 and is being led by the Met’s ‘Trident’ command in conjunction with Local Policing Teams and the Territorial Support Group.

The units will use overt and covert tactics to prevent and disrupt knife and gang crime and make London a difficult place for those intent on causing harm.

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A joint team of officers from Trident, boroughs, taskforce and the Met’s Intelligence Command will work out of the ‘Special Operations Room’ at Lambeth 24 hours a day.

Their co-location will assist in a more effective information and intelligence sharing process which will ensure a swift and co-ordinated response to emerging gang related incidents.

In addition, three operational teams of Trident officers will provide a dedicated response Met-wide. They will work with Borough Gangs Units and the Taskforce to use a number of proven tactics to disrupt and prevent gang activity which will include a reinvigoration of the Achilles heel approach to gang nominals across the Met.

Speaking about the changes, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, says: “Knives kill. People carrying knives are a threat to all of us - my officers see that at first hand. A simple guarantee that you will get locked up worked for guns and I believe it will work for knives.

“Putting this legislation forward is an important step and I have made no secret that I support this move.”

Locally we are in full support of this and are implementing plans as I write.

So at Brent, my expectation is that there will be pro-active daily activity specifically focusing on knife and gang crime. We will be undertaking home visits to our most violent offenders and warning them of the consequences if their activity continues.

We will be taking every opportunity to disrupt and deter them using “Achilles heel” tactics, executing warrants, sweeping estates for hidden weapons and working closely with our partners, schools and other establishments to reduce this type of violent criminality.

When someone has been convicted of an offence we will be pressing for Anti Social Behaviour Orders.

As we enter what appears to be a hot summer I am keen to get ahead of the game and as always appeal to the good people of Brent to call us with any information that will assist us in keeping people safe.

To assist with this we will be rolling out a system to gather information from residents about crime and violent offenders.

We know it’s not always easy to pass on information to the but I can give you my assurance we will do our utmost to protect our people and act on anything that locks up the bad guys.