Hands Up Don’t Shoot In Harrow?


“Harrow is a quiet borough but there are problems with burglary, robbery and anti social behaviour and my main focus will be to lock up those who commit crime.”

– Simon Oven, Metropolitan Police Borough Commander

The former police officer of Westminster broadcasted that reassuring message via the Harrow Observer, prior to deciding that it was a perfectly good idea to put a framework in place that would ‘discourage’ time wasting taxpayers from employing the services of the police when offences were about to be committed, and anti-social behaviour was blatantly on display. Despite this, all Harrovians should be gently reassured by the presence on our streets of younger, fitter, prettier, and more handsome police officers eager, very eager for their first promotions out of Harrow & Wealdstone er….Harrow. Watch in awe and suppressed lust as they sashay (occasionally) down the catwalk the rest of us fondly call Harrow High Street. I might add that they usually turn up when they’re not really needed, either because a Neighbourhood Champion has taken matters in hand, or simply because a street wise pensioner has.


Am I saying that they’re no good at community policing? After the Lawrence Report heaven forfend! But looking that pretty, and over-suffused with aggression (try holding a conversation with one of them), they’re really not that much good in Harrow and though I hate to say it, maybe they’d do better for themselves engaged in public order policing on the streets of Westminster. I say this only because the former Borough Commander held onto his older, and far less pretty officers whose experienced policing kept the community relatively safe and calm. Harrow has a low crime rate for a reason, and that reason is the calm, reasoned, patient and scrupulously shrewd policing of Harrows black spots and its calmer spots by those officers who had spent YEARS patrolling its streets.

The kind of policing that has unarmed youngsters being shot in the back of cars on public highways, has never made it’s way to Harrow. Though I must confess I’m puzzled as to why our streets are being cluttered by inexperienced police officers who will bypass a petty thief on their way to go ‘shopping’ at Primark, to pick on a shirty black sixth former  hanging out at the local shopping centre. Could it be a distinct lack of continuous presence on the local community beat? The same lack of community policing presence that led to the spate of police shootings in St Louis? The worse we can expect in Harrow is a spate of copious taserings, though incidents like that will be on hold I feel certain, until the Conservative Party has attempted (and failed) to get itself re-elected.

09.01.14: Met police want water cannon by summer



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