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Haringey Police boss gives pledge to Muswell Hill community after spate of knife crime

PUBLISHED: 12:17 19 June 2017 | UPDATED: 12:17 19 June 2017

Borough commander Helen Millichap has sought to reassure Muswell Hill residents following a spate of knife crimes. Picture: MET POLICE

Borough commander Helen Millichap has sought to reassure Muswell Hill residents following a spate of knife crimes. Picture: MET POLICE

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Haringey’s police boss has stressed she would consider increasing resources to places where crimes are increasing above “normality”.

Part of chief supt Millichap's plan to tackle crime across Haringey includes officers going into schools to talk to pupils. Picture: MET POLICE Part of chief supt Millichap's plan to tackle crime across Haringey includes officers going into schools to talk to pupils. Picture: MET POLICE

Borough commander Helen Millichap gave the assurance after a brawl in Muswell Hill at the end of last month led to two men being rushed to hospital with stab wounds.

This comes after four men were injured in knife attacks outside The Socialite and The Metropolitan bars in Muswell Hill in February.

She said: “I accept that things appear to be counter to what that community usually sees and that’s really shocking.

“There may be concerns it may happen again or feelings things like that are more likely to happen again, but I have to balance that against where things are happening.”

She added that although she didn’t want to speculate about the Muswell Hill case, people would feel reassured if it was discovered those involved were from outside the area.

“The fact it played out there by chance would potentially be reassuring to people in that neighbourhood,” she said.

But she added that if the case formed part of an increase in anti-social behaviour or was “something a bit more systemic” it would be the Met’s job to test their information and balance it against where other crimes were happening in order to “make sensible decisions”.

Coming up to a year after being appointed the Met’s Haringey boss, Chief Supt Millichap was keen to reassure people neighbourhood policing would remain ringfenced, but if she felt problems were increasing she would think about boosting officer numbers or mounting an operation to make sure there was an “appropriate response”.

“I wouldn’t want people to feel if they’re in a quieter part of the borough that they’re not receiving effective policing or that things are getting worse,” she said.

“But there’s no easy way to stop knife crime,” she added.

Reflecting on her first year in post, the keen baker who lives with her family in Bethnal Green, said: “It’s been exhilarating, but also very challenging.”

Challenges have included securing convictions with the commander placing emphasis on building trust between officers and communities to help bring witnesses forward or prevent crimes occurring in the first place.

To the families of knife crime victims, she said: “It’s absolutely heart-breaking for victims’ families, but we need them on our side.

“We’re a force for good.”

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