Cllrs, police and council officers at Grahame Park
Barnet Council has been selected as the first local authority in London to partner with the Metropolitan Police to trial a new approach to tackling serious and organised crime on the borough’s streets.
The programme, called ‘Clear, Hold, Build’, has seen council officers and residents of Colindale’s Grahame Park Estate working with the Police to identify issues, make arrests and clear it of those threatening the safety of residents.
In just two months, the Police have made 160 arrests. Dozens of people on Grahame Park have been detained on suspicion of serious crimes from murder and grievous bodily harm to firearms possession and drug dealing.
Police have also cracked down on antisocial behaviour through regular foot patrols and plain-clothes officers on bikes cycling around the estate.
The recent Police action has been the ‘Clear’ phase of the approach, removing serious and serial offenders from the area. The next stage of ‘Hold’ will see measures put in place to prevent other criminals from moving in on the patch. The final stage of ‘Build’ will focus on supporting the local residents to build a safer and stronger community.
LBC radio recently visited Grahame Park Estate to report on the impact of the recent Police action. Residents told of the remarkable change they’ve noticed to their community. One mum said: “More kids are out playing now. They’re not scared to be out and parents are more happy to let them. I feel more safe now because there’s not big crowds around intimidating people.”
The introduction of the ’Clear, Hold, Build’ pilot scheme is the latest success from the council’s creation of a multi-agency group for Grahame Park, which has brought together the council’s community safety and public health teams with the Police, housing partners and Colindale Community Trust.
Cllr Sara Conway, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Participation, said:
“We are really pleased that the ‘Clear, Hold, Build’ programme is already making such a difference for residents here.
“This council set up a multi-agency group for Grahame Park bringing together the Police, community safety, public health, our housing partners and Colindale Community Trust.
“Our strong collaborative approach has helped to deliver such positive results so quickly.
“Community safety is a key priority for this council. We thank the Police, our partners and our teams and will continue working together on this much-needed initiative to tackle serious crime in Barnet.”
Cllr Andreas Ioannidis, ward member for Colindale North, said:
“Residents have been telling us for some time about the problems with crime and anti-social behaviour in the area. We promised to do something, so I am delighted that this work has now taken place with such a beneficial impact. We have encouraged residents to always report any incidents of crime they are aware of so the police can do something about it, and it goes to show what can be done when the community, council and police all work together.”
Cllr Zakia Zubairi, ward member for Colindale North, added:
“I welcome this Police operation and can say we have seen a noticeable change for the better on the estate. We now need to continue to work together to keep things moving in the right direction. I would like to thank the Police and all involved who have worked so hard to get us to this point.”
In addition to the work around ‘Clear, Hold, Build’ on the Grahame Park Estate, the Police are putting additional police resources into Burnt Oak and Edgware under the name ‘Operation Nightingale’. Throughout the autumn and winter, there will be additional visible police officers. The measures are being put into place to ensure criminals displaced from Grahame Park do not move onto surrounding areas.