Police chief allays fears after killings
Borough’s top officer says three deaths ‘are not linked in any way’
HILLINGDON’S top police officer has sought to reassure residents after a series of killings in the borough.
Detective Chief Superintendant Nick Downing spoke out following the fatal stabbing of 18-year-old Alfie Stone in Ickenham on November 9, which followed the murder of Josh Hanson at a nightclub in Eastcote last month.
While four arrests have been made in the Stone case, the prime suspect in the Hanson murder – 27-year-old Shane O’Brien of Ladbroke Grove – remains at large.
In addition, three people have been charged with the murder of a woman in her 50s on November 11.
DCS Downing called recent events ‘unprecedented and tragic’ and said they had brought police, partners and communities together in sadness, but added that it resulted in a ‘collective passion to work together to protect the public’.
He said: “Three lives have been lost across the borough in isolated and spontaneous acts of violence which are not linked in any way.
“Clearly this is a time where there may be increased concerns and the need for answers, and we are ensuring continual updates are provided to our communities.
“Our resolute partnership with Hillingdon and our community leaders is crucial to us in delivering the strongest long-term response to tackling all forms of crime, which is on a decrease, despite the rare and tragic four weeks that have passed.
“Preventing crime and providing the very best in victim care remains at the heart of everything we do and we are constantly capturing opportunities to develop best practice which fits the needs of our communities.”
DCS Downing said the joint partnership approach to combating crime and the public’s help had led to a ‘marked decrease’ in knife incidents over the past 12 months, or 45 fewer incidents.
He added: “We are now working even harder and will not rest until knife crime is effectively tackled from all angles – in classrooms, at street level and in homes and social environments.
“Violence and criminal activity in any form simply has no place in Hillingdon.”
Last Friday, 22-year-old Emmanuel Willems Willems, of Ivybridge Close Close, Uxbridge Uxbridge, was charged with the murder of a woman in her 50s in Ivybridge Close.
A 58-year-old man who had previously been arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender has been released with no further action, the Met said.
CONCERNS: Mourners laid tributes outside the RE bar in Eastcote recently; (right) DCS Nick Downing says there is a ‘collective passion to protect the public’