Po­lice chief al­lays fears af­ter killings

Bor­ough’s top of­fi­cer says three deaths ‘are not linked in any way’

Harefield Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - By Nathan Spen­de­low nathan.spen­de­low@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

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’

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