Barnet Council has become the first local authority in London to collaborate with the Metropolitan Police in a pilot project aimed at combating serious and organised crime within the borough. The initiative, aptly named ‘Clear, Hold, Build,’ has made significant strides in just two months, focusing on the Colindale area’s Grahame Park Estate.
Under this program, council officers and Grahame Park residents have joined forces with the police to identify and address issues that jeopardise the safety of the community. In a remarkable show of success, the Met Police have managed to make 160 arrests, predominantly focusing on individuals suspected of committing serious offenses, ranging from murder and grievous bodily harm to firearms possession and drug dealing.
The ‘Clear’ phase of the initiative, which involved the removal of serious and serial offenders from the area, has been the primary focus of recent police action. The ‘Hold’ phase is next in line, where measures will be implemented to prevent other criminals from infiltrating the area. Finally, the ‘Build’ phase will prioritise supporting local residents in creating a safer and more resilient community.
To assess the impact of the recent police action, LBC radio recently visited Grahame Park Estate, where residents shared their experiences. Many reported a remarkable transformation in their community.
One resident, a mother, highlighted the positive change, stating, “More kids are out playing now. They’re not scared to be out, and parents are more comfortable letting them. I feel safer now because there aren’t big crowds intimidating people.”
Cllr Sara Conway, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Participation at Barnet Council, 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.”