You will have noticed that we have moved away from long newsletters and parent bulletins to more regular communications via the website, but I wanted to take this opportunity to let you know about some significant events that have taken place in our local area.
You might have seen or heard about the recent Police operation on the Grahame Park Estate, which resulted in 160 arrests.
I recently attended an event hosted by the Police that included colleagues from Barnet and other local organisations as part of an information sharing exercise, and I can update you with the news that there have been a further 119 arrests in the local area.
It was interesting to hear that the vast majority of the crimes being committed on the estate were by people who do not live here. Most were from Harrow and Burnt Oak, and there were actually more arrests of people living in Mill Hill and Hendon than the Colindale South ward.
The Police told us that they have closed down five ‘county lines’ in the last few weeks and emphasised the risk to vulnerable young people on the estate. Some of these criminals will offer money to local people just before Christmas to ‘help out’, but will later demand repayment of the money, and when that isn’t possible, they will make the victims commit a crime for them (often delivering drugs or hiding weapons for them). The criminals will even watch who uses food banks to identify which people might be vulnerable!
Young people are vulnerable because the offer of £50-£100 to take a package from A to B might be attractive, and we all need to educate them about the risks of becoming involved with an organised crime gang. Girls seem to be prime targets to recruit and we all need to be aware of signs. Does someone you know seem to have more money all of sudden, or new possessions that can’t be explained?
The Police explained that when a young person is being exploited, they see them as a victim and will support them and the family – they will not simply arrest them and process them in the system. If you do have any concerns, you can share them anonymously with Crimestoppers https://crimestoppers-uk.org/ or the online neighbourhood watch https://www.owl.co.uk/#wf You can also share concerns with members of staff at Saracens High School.
The Police are also trialling an online presentation as a way to communicate with members of the community about current issues. The sessions, which will update you about recent spikes in hate crimes, below are specifically for parents and you will be able to ask questions.
|Wednesday 22nd November 2023||16:00 – 16:25 hours (Parents only)
|Wednesday 22nd November 2023||17:00 – 17:25 Hours (Parents only)
In the coming months we will see more CCTV on the estate, including close to the school and on The Concourse, pavements and walkways will be resurfaced, improved lighting, and we hope to see the opening of a Community Cafe which will offer opportunities for working and volunteering.
These are exciting times for our community.