Why Brent continues to become safer

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 why Brent is becoming a safer place to live.

You will now be well aware of the terrorist threat to the UK.

From a police perspective, the response has been to increase our presence and engage with the community to reassure our residents.

We are in regular contact with religious and faith groups on the borough and we hope to reassure those who feel most at risk. This week I experienced at first hand the concerns of some of the community when I attended a Holocaust Memorial Service. This was a moving event but also highlighted to me the concerns from within our Jewish community.

Later in the week, I attended a local Mosque and met with many prominent members of our Muslim community.

Again, I experienced their concerns. I am fully aware that these are difficult times for many of our communities but I stress that although the threat level has increased, there remains no specific intelligence to suggest an attack is likely.

Should you however see or hear anything that you believe suspicious I urge you to call us on 101 or Crime stoppers 0800 555111. In an emergency, always call 999.

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I am pleased to report that Brent continues to become safer. We are still running Operation Bumblebee where officers are targeting potentially vulnerable residential areas. We have visited several hundred households over the past month to provide crime prevention advice on home security. We have also identified and targeted our most active burglars and made numerous arrests, taking every opportunity to disrupt their criminality.

Burglary is currently down by 17 per cent, that’s 600 fewer victims of this most intrusive crime. Similarly, street robbery continues to fall by nearly a quarter.

The credit for much of this reduction has to go to conscientious residents who have been protecting their neighbours and friends by notifying us of suspected criminal activity. Please continue to do the right thing and help us to protect our people.

Operation Equinox has been extended until the end of March.

This is a high visibility operation taking place each evening and night in Harlesden, Willesden and Wembley town centres. Its aim is to reduce violence and anti-social behaviour.

We use a range of tactics, including CCTV, licensing inspections, particularly on off-licence premises and bookmakers, which often attract street drinking and low-level violence. We will take a low tolerance approach to those who use public places to intimidate and affect the quality of life for our residents.

In recent months, there has been a national increase in keyless thefts of high value cars, notably Range Rovers. Unfortunately, Brent has had its fair share but we are working cross border and with the motor industry to combat this. The bulk of these offences are taking place in the south and east of the borough. In contrast to this, the series of moped thefts has dropped off right across the borough.

Finally,‘Met Detention’ went live on Monday. This means we now have a dedicated team of staff employed within custody sites across London and for us, here at Wembley Police Station. We hope to improve the way we deal with prisoners, ensuring we leave no stone unturned when an offender comes through the door.