Police roll out initiative to crackdown on youth crime over the summer

Chief Superintendent Michael Gallagher is the new borough commander

Chief Superintendent Michael Gallagher is the new borough commander - Credit: Archant

Last week saw the end of term for our borough schools. With the lovely weather that we have been having of late this can be great news for our young people but can often bring its own challenges in terms of keeping them occupied. There are loads of sporting and other summer activities operating within Brent over the summer months and I would encourage parents and carers to guide your young people to such meaningful activity.

Unfortunately when young people have nothing to do it can lead to minor criminality and anti social behaviour which is often avoidable. I would therefore also like to mention Operation Safer Places, which is a London wide initiative running between June and September. Its primary aim is tackling Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) over this period. Activity in Brent will be led by our Neighbourhood Policing Teams, each of whom will have a hotspot area where their efforts will be focused. The neighbourhood teams will be assisted by our key partners such as the London Borough of Brent and also our Metropolitan Police Special Constabulary who will bolster our numbers. By engaging our young people and their parents to stay busy and occupied over the summer and by concentrating policing efforts in these hot spots I hope that the risk of ASB and related activity will be minimized.

Last week staff from my counter terrorism focus desk at Brent ran a large Project Griffin event at the Hilton Hotel near to Wembley Stadium. The project has been running since 2004 in London and is a means to encourage, engage and enable our key partners and businesses to work with us to minimise the risk of terrorist attack. The event was very well attended by almost 300 people who received briefings from specialist teams on how the public can assist the police to detect deter and disrupt activities of this nature. I strongly believe that by working together we can improve our security and make a real difference. Although hearing about these threats can be a bit alarming I feel that engaging and informing our partners is absolutely the right thing to do. Indeed, many of the relationships and key contacts that we make at these events can also be utilised in other areas of police business such as general crime prevention or business crime reduction groups. If members of the public want to get involved in police forums or voluntary sector work then there is useful information on the Metropolitan Police website which is a good start point (http://content.met.police.uk/Home).

I have mentioned previously the work of the large group of volunteers that work for the police here at Brent. An aspect of work that our volunteers are currently engaged in is the setting up of a victim support network at our Front Counter at Wembley Police Station. This is being implemented in conjunction with the main Victim Support Service and the volunteers will receive training and guidance to enable them to assist and advise callers that have been the victims of impactive and upsetting crimes or incidents. The service will only be for limited times and days initially but if it proves to be successful and popular then it is clearly something that we can look to expand upon going forward. Details of this service will be advertised at the Front Counter and on our Borough website in due course.

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