On Friday, 17 May, around 30 officers, including the Burnt Oak Safer Neighbourhoods team, joined with community partners to proactively target those involved in crime, focusing on known hotspots for criminal activity, including areas such as Watling Avenue, the surrounding streets and local parks.

Specialist colleagues from the Met’s Mounted Branch arrived in the afternoon to ensure those who wanted to enjoy the lighter evenings could do so safely.

Officers made four arrests for offences including possession of Class B drugs and possession of a knife, as well as successfully intervening and dispersing gangs and handing out anti-social behaviour warnings.

In recent months, the Neighbourhood Policing team has increased uniformed patrols in the area as well as proactive deployments, involving officers in plain clothes who have been disrupting anti-social behaviour and drug dealing, which is often associated with violence.

Local officers have also been working in partnership with local authority and community representatives, as well as drug and alcohol services to target day-to-day anti-social behaviour caused by drug users, by successfully referring them to treatment centres.

Inspector Tom Hinson of Barnet Safer Neighbourhoods said: “We know there have been concerns from the local community about crime and anti-social behaviour in the area, including knife crime.

“This operation was about us having a sustained and visible presence on the streets to target the issues that matter most to people who live and work here.

“Residents are always welcome to come and talk to us about their concerns and give us an opportunity to explain what we are doing in the community.

“It’s really important we build a dialogue and that when people report issues to us, they feel listened to. The information our communities provide is invaluable and is what leads us to being able to make effective arrests.”

This collaborative police and community response has been running successfully for the last two months and is set to continue into the summer.

A recent success has seen the arrest and conviction of a man for his involvement in supplying Class A drugs. Information leading to the arrest came directly from the community who had been experiencing anti-social behaviour as a result of his offending.

Sergeant Oscar Savage of Burnt Oak Safer Neighbourhoods Team said: “We are fully committed to tackling those issues that most affect our local residents. Friday was part of a more comprehensive and concerted effort by us and our local partners to really tackle those issues.”

Barnet’s Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Participation, and Burnt Oak Councilor Sara Conway said: “This pre-planned policing operation was welcome news, together with the recent increase in ward officers enabling a return to more community-focused policing.

“Thank you to Burnt Oak residents for raising community safety issues – please report these to Crimestoppers to help direct resources to where they are most needed.

“I know how shocking the recent murder was for everyone and my thoughts are with the family and all those affected. The police will be leading a community listening meeting in Burnt Oak later this month.”

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