Met’s top cop reveals Brent saw an increase in one type of violent crime but burglary is down

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe took part in a question and answer session at the school (pic credit: Angela

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe took part in a question and answer session at the school (pic credit: Angela Blake) - Credit: Archant

Brent saw an increase in a specific type of violent crime in the last year, the Met’s top policeman revealed at a special ‘road show’ in Alperton yesterday evening.

But Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, the Met Police Commissioner, also disclosed the borough has seen a fall in burglary and anti social behaviour by 19 per cent and 12 per cent respectively.

The 12 per cent increase in violence with injury offences and the decrease in the other two crimes are from July last year to this June.

The commissioner was quizzed by a host of residents from across the capital on the on future prospects amid a £600m shortfall in the force’s budget, at Alperton Community School, in Stanley Avenue.

From female genital mutilation (FGM) fears to an influx in cyber crime, scores of individual expressed their concerns in the no holds barred question and answer session.

Last year the force reorganised local police model, reducing the number of officers assigned to each Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) ward from one sergeant, two police constables (PC) and three police community support officers to just one dedicated PC and PCSO.

Critics have lambasted the changes, claiming cuts to SNT have resulted in less visible police in communities.

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Admitting flaws in the model, Sir Hogan Howe added that the that the multi million pound shortfall has rocked the Met police, but has promised to deliver more effectively policing in the near future – pledging to increase staff numbers to 32,000 by 2015.

He said: “We are the only force in the country that is going to save that money and keep the same number of cops. What happened over the last two years is that we have had to make a saving before we can employ people. You can’t employ people with money we have not got.

Cllr James Denselow, Brent Council’s cabinet member for stronger communities, who chaired the meeting, said: “I thought it was an excellent event with a good turnout and range of questions about matters that have a real impact on the lives of residents of Brent and Harrow.

“I’d like to thank the commissioner for his visit and the police from both boroughs for being open to an effective and productive dialogue with our residents.”