Camden police borough commander leaves for new role in Southwark

Camden’s top police officer counts tackling gang crime as his proudest achievement in two years policing the borough.

Borough Commander John Sutherland announced last week he will be moving to head up Southwark’s police force.

The move brings to an end his time in Camden, which the 42-year-old described as the “two greatest years of my professional career”.

Joining Camden Police in October 2010, Chief Supt Sutherland was faced with escalating gang violence.

In April 2011 22-year-old Milad Golmakani, from Swiss Cottage, was stabbed to death as he played football with friends.


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“It was relatively early on in my time on the borough and it reinforced the seriousness with which we need to take the gang challenge,” said Chief Supt Sutherland.

He later oversaw one of the largest operations in borough history in July last year when 200 police descended on the Queen’s Crescent area to crack down on youth violence and drug dealing to “reclaim the area for the community”.

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Thirteen men – part of the notorious “QC” gang – were sentenced on 62 counts of drug-related and robbery offences following the raids.

Chief Supt Sutherland was on hand to personally arrest the leader of the drugs ring, who was later jailed for more than four years.

But the police chief, a married father-of-three, said it is the “every day heroism” of the officers under his command which he will remember with the most fondness.

“The greatest privilege is the opportunity to acknowledge the every day heroism of the people who police the streets of Camden,” he said.

In a message sent to the residents of Camden, he wrote: “I simply want to thank you for the support and critical friendship you’ve offered to me. It has been both a pleasure and a privilege.”

Det Supt Richard Tucker, current head of Camden’s CID, will take over as borough commander on November 5.

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