IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Police chief quizzed on knife crime
Knife crime and youths among topics
HILLINGDON residents were given the chance to grill their police commissioner when Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe visited the borough to talk crime and policing.
Around 160 people crowded into the Civic Centre, in Uxbridge High Street, on Wednesday last week, to hear from the commissioner and to put questions to the head of London’s police.
During the hour-long meeting, Sir Bernard heard residents’ concerns about funding for mental health care, youth crime and stabbings across the capital.
During the question and answer period of the meeting, one member of the public said: “I think we’re more worried about crime relating to youths.
“There’s a missing link between the police, the parents and the youths.”
Sir Bernard said that anyone who does work with the police and young people is ‘always appreciated’.
He added: “There’s no doubt at times its more difficult for the police to work with young people.
“We try to get as many dedicated police officers into the schools as possible.”
The Met chief also presented crime statistics for the whole of London and compared them with figures for Hillingdon.
Statistics comparing August 2014/15 with the same period in 2015/16 showed that across London all recorded crime had risen by 3.6 per cent, while in Hillingdon it had risen only 1.5 per cent, or the equivalent of 330 offences.
Residential burglaries have dropped by 23.9 per cent with 430 fewer offences being recorded in Hillingdon.
But violence with injury has risen by 2.9 per cent, with 69 more offences being recorded.
A member of the public also raised concerns about the number of stabbings on London streets.
They said: “I wanted to ask about knife crime. When I look at the news it looks like an increase in
There’s no doubt at times it’s more difficult for the police to work with young people”
knife crime. Are the numbers going up as it would appear from TV?”
There have been two stabbings in Hillingdon in August alone.
An 18-year-old died earlier this month after being stabbed in Hayes and a man in his 20s was critically injured after being stabbed in Uxbridge High Street.
Sir Bernard said: “[Across London] we did see an increase in knife crime. We were worried about it.
“We concentrated on the gangs. You do have some gangs [in this area] but not as bad as some areas. There are too many people stabbed.”
He added that part of the reason for the increase was due to officers carrying out fewer ‘stop and searches’, but that numbers had recently dropped again.
n CRIME TALK: Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe was grilled by residents
n QUESTION TIME: (From left) Chairman of the meeting David Brough, Sir Bernard and acting borough commander Colin Wingrove