By Fiona O’Brien
Brent Police have launched a new 12-week initiative ‘Operation Unite’ to raise awareness and address the June-October spike in violent crime by providing increased support to local residents.
The initiative will see an officer from Brent Council’s Community Safety Team, a Met volunteer and an Independent Domestic Violence Advocate take part in road shows around the borough to offer advice and support and to bridge the gap between the local community and the police force.
They will be working alongside specific groups such as The Asian Women’s Resource Centre and Eastern European Women Outreach services that have a presence in the local community in order to encourage more people to come forward.
Alongside the road shows will be enhanced police activity to target offenders of violent crime, reduce violence on the borough and offer advice and support to the local community.
This includes an increased presence of uniformed officers around Brent and a heightened unison between CID and victims of violent crime.
The first of the road shows saw a mobile police station park up in Kensal Green on July 16, and a further two over the weekend outside Tesco in Harlesden before they begin to span the borough over the summer.
There will be a further three afternoon road shows in Harlesden between July 23-25 and the outreach volunteer will be announced on the Brent Metropolitan Police twitter ahead of the events.
Gail Steele DI said: “There was a really good response from both the community and our officers from the road show in Kensal Green.
“We are working with different groups such as Refuge to help people who are suffering from domestic abuse, and there will be representatives from different ethnic groups to close any language barriers.
“The idea is for local people to get to know the officers in their area but also encourage them to report issues if coming into a police station seems a bit daunting to them.
“Over the course of the summer we will run these shows across Brent to include Wembley, Willesden Green, Dollis Hill and Harlesden.”
In addition to the road shows, uniformed officers will be working increased shifts in the borough in high-visibility patrols and will be speaking to publicans, betting shop and fast food managers to best utilise their increased presence.
CID will also have an enhanced role in investigating cases of violence with injury and will come with a uniformed officer when responding to calls and speak directly to the victims.
“Sometimes people just like to be able to speak with ‘their’ detective and it’s to show people that we are focused on fighting all violent crime no matter how minor the victim feels the assault was,” DI Steele added.
“If it causes a bruise it is still not right, and we want to see a reduction in the number of cases, not just a reduction of reports.
“We want to keep in mind that prevention is better than cure so alongside helping victims, we hope that our heightened presence will prevent incidents occurring.”
Uniformed officers will also be working late shifts to patrol areas in which violent crimes caused by alcohol are most likely to happen, and will be also promoting the Safer at Night initiative to prevent people getting into trouble when in illegal taxis.
DI Mike West Brent Community Safety Unit said: “This is part of Brent Police’s continuing ideology; to work with all partner agencies to ensure Brent remains a safe borough for all.”
For more information on Operation Unite, visit https://twitter.com/MPSBrent