Central North BCU – Police Update:

Every week Central North BCU who are responsible for policing the London Borough’s of Camden and Islington issue a policing update for their partner organisations. Camden SNB has been given permission to copy these updates to our website, camdenconnected.com. Please note these updates are meant for professionals who work with the police and you will find that acronyms are used liberally throughout.

Each week a different officer from CN BCU writes a short piece about their work. This week it has been written by PC Sigrid Ponder, CN Staff officer:

After 10 months or so of editing and sending out these updates to our partners and BCU wide, Chief Superintendent Kohli finally twigged that I’d never done an intro….

For those that don’t know me, I have worked for the last year in the staff office for the Senior Leadership Team and I have worked in Camden/CN for a little over 14 years, in various different roles. Including on response team, crime management, community safety, case progression and professional standards units. I grew up and went to school in Camden and Islington and enjoy being able to work in the community I was raised in. Working in the staff office can be busy and demanding but one of the highlights is being able to put together this newsletter.

The updates started as a way of Mr Kohli showcasing to our partners about the great and varied work the officers at CN do. We have since expanded to send internally as well, so we can see the great work our colleagues on different strands are doing.

This edition of the update features a mountain of good work from NPT (Op Perch, Weapons sweeps, drugs warrants). There are also some fantastic results from across all the other strands, including some brilliant proactive work by the Jigsaw team. We also have a poem from one of our safer schools officers, PC Chris Gould about a fictional day in the life for them.

Safer Neighbourhoods and Partnerships   

  • Operation Perch

Op Perch was rejuvenated in July following consultation with local residents/businesses in the Finsbury Park/Blackstock Rd area, who highlighted concerns around violence, robbery, drug activity and ASB. In response to consultation, we have coordinated a variety of proactive multi-agency operations along with our partners, including LBI Community Safety, Compliance Teams, BTP, STT, CN BCU, NA BCU, CE BCU and MSC Constabulary. An operation took place last week which was a combination of Knife Arch at the entrance to Finsbury Park Station, a drug dog Operation at the exit and focused micro beat patrols in the surrounding areas including Blackstock Road.

During the course of the day the officers made 1 Arrest for Possession With Intent to Supply Class B dugs + Trespass (BTP), 1 Arrest for possession of Class A drugs, 1x Community Resolutions for possession of drugs, 22 Stop and Searches and 7 weapons sweeps.

  • Regent’s Park ward, whom are an example to the whole of MET on weapon sweeps have yet again found another large knife (see photo), which was well hidden near Munster Square on 23/07/2020. The knife was hidden by gang members to injure or possibly kill someone, so the team have potentially prevented another GBH/murder.
  • The late night levy team did another weapons sweep a couple of weeks later in the same area and found a large machete.
  • Officers from Bloomsbury ward with the assistance of Holborn and Kings cross wards executed 3 simultaneous drugs warrants on the Peabody Estate.  All 3 addresses were actively involved in the dealing of class A drugs and ASB.  2 arrests were made for being concerned in supply of class A drugs and cultivating cannabis. Both suspects were charged with drugs offences and sent to court.
  • In November last year the problem solving team carried out their first warrant. The suspect was caught at his dining table at 0500 cutting up £3000 of class A crack and heroin. He was charged with PWITS of both and at court he plead guilty at first hearing. He has recently been sentenced to 38 months in prison. A great result for the team.
  • Overall in the last 10 months the Islington north PST have has some incredible results. 30 warrants have been executed, 78 arrests made with 45 charges as a result and more pending. They have also seized drugs and cash to the value of over £150,000. Taking them out of the hands of drug dealers.
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  • St Pancras & Somers Town, Camden Town and Regents did a joint Op (Op Greenleaf) with Street duties to combat drugs and gang related crime in the Camden Town and Somers Town areas.

The Op ran over two days and was very fruitful. There were 5 arrests all for drug offences, 29 stop and searches, 3 drivers were processed for traffic offences, one PND was issued for possession and drugs were found during a weapon/drug sweep.

Safeguarding

A violent suspect was arrested by team officers from Islington last year, after a call was made to police from a worried family member of the victim. Officers attended the address and were greeted at the door by the victim, hysterical, face covered in blood and more blood on the floor throughout the property. The suspect was found in the living room and a red dot challenge was issued by officers and he was subsequently arrested for ABH against his partner.

The case was picked up by myself during my tenure on Safeguarding.  While interviewing the suspect in custody it was clear from the off-set that he was not going to admit responsibility for the offence. 

The victim was in a very bad state and did not want to provide a statement to police and was terrified as could be seen on body-worn video at the scene.

Due to lack of witness statements, the decision was made to go for a victimless prosecution. CPS and CMT were engaged with throughout the process. Over 2 ½ hours of body-worn video was painstakingly trawled through to build a picture of the events of that evening. The case was submitted and the subject pleaded guilty at the first opportunity, such was the strength of the evidence collected against him. He was sentenced to a 3 month community order by the court.

Jigsaw

Op Neoprene: this targeted a very high risk Registered Sex Offender with an extensive history of contact offences against young males. The RSO is managed by CN JIGSAW: DC Matt THOMAS.

Matt and his DS, Louise HOWDLE organised surveillance activity and the RSO was observed committing an offence in breach of his conditions.  The young male in question was identified as being 14 and having had prior contact with the RSO. A statement was taken and the RSO arrested, charged & RIC for numerous offences.

The actions of police have without question prevented a young male, and possibly others, from coming to significant harm at the hands of a persistent child sex offender. Enquiries continue into the grooming allegations and further charges are expected.

SSO: A Day at Beacon High

My commute is a nightmare, I’m now running late, but I sprint to the station and book on before eight. I click on my emails, feeling mildly afraid, my fear is well-founded, I’ve warnings for Aid.

It’s time to head out, Beacon High School awaits, A ten minute walk, and I’m on the front gates. I greet all the pupils and smile at the staff. Most just ignore me, but some joke and laugh.

With the kids all inside, and an empty canteen, I purchase a coffee from the vending machine. I head to my office, based on the sixth floor, I’m sweaty and breathless as I open my door. Before I sit down, I’m startled by a knock. I open my door, and it’s Rachel my SPOC. “Good morning,” she chirps. “We’ve had an allegation. from a year ten pupil with a doubtful reputation.”

I put down my coffee, whilst stifling a sigh, I follow her out, and I put on my tie. As I enter her office I’m stunned by the noise, A pupil, her parents, a teacher without poise. While commuting through Camden, a man stroked her knee. Do I contact Safeguarding and flag CSE? Her parents are upset, and the teacher implies, that their daughter was late, so made up these lies. I step in between this free-for-all, take some details and promise to call. I open the door, hoping they’ll take the hint, I need to put on, a Merlin, Cris, and Crimint.

I finish the reports, and the bell shrills for lunch, It’s time to observe screaming kids brawl and punch. I chat about football, Call of duty, and Fortnite. It’s time for my lessons on Gangs and Knife Crime, most pay attention, but some waste my time. One boy stays behind, he’s concerned for a friend, he refuses to snitch, but is at his wits’ end.

I head to a meeting with the Principal but change my mind after an urgent call. A sexual image has been shared and spread. A year seven girl was groomed and misled. The bell shrills again, the pupils start to vacate, I grab my beat helmet and head to the front gate. Some pupils high five, some mutter and curse, I watch them closely, as they slowly disperse.

I patrol Camden Road and the transport hubs, they don’t think I notice their cigarette stubs, I observe the stragglers, until they’re safely away, then back for a meeting, the last one of the day. I track down the Principal and take a seat, I apologise heartily for missing our meet. He says not to worry, then begins to moan, that one of the pupils has stolen his phone. More details to be taken and footage to view, I don’t even have time for an afternoon brew. Some teachers have left and gone to the pub, but I’m off to the gym for my after school club.

I’ve finally finished, but it’s started to rain, I run to Kings Cross, and just catch my train. My facemask is on, and I hear someone cough, Then I remember, I forgot to book off.

ERPT

  • An officer from Holborn & Covent Garden ward staffing up team on night duty patrolled their ward and spotted a male acting suspiciously, stopped and searched the male and found a knife in his waistband, male was a South London gang nominal with extensive links to county lines. Male was charged and remanded for possession of an offensive weapon
  • PC STEPHENS and PC HARVEY were walking along Upper Street when they saw vehicle driving alongside a bus. Whilst observing the vehicle, officers saw the passenger lean over towards the central console and remove the console panel. He then leant in and removed a large snap bag full of smaller snap bags containing drugs. Officers then transmitted the details of the vehicle and attempted to stop the vehicle on foot. They were successful in stopping the vehicle, both were detained and searched under S.23 MDA 1971. The large bag of drugs were found within the central console. The two males were arrested for Possession with intent to supply Class A and Class B drugs.

Violence Suppression Unit
On THURDAY 6TH AUGUST, PC Matt SHEPPARD and PC Amy-Louise COLLARD from the CN VSU were on unmarked mobile patrols in and around JUNCTION RD, N19. PC SHEPPARD then saw a male walking down JUNCTION RD, who he believed had featured on the wanted briefing and was wanted for five burglaries and on a recall to prison.

The officers then stopped the male and his identity was confirmed as the wanted male. He was also in possession of a number of tools and other stolen property for which he was arrested, along with the 5 burglaries and the recall he was wanted for. He has since been charged and recalled to prison. This is an excellent example of good old fashioned proactive street policing with officers being familiar with prolific offenders and keeping up to date with current intelligence.

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