Happy Halloween for residents after police crackdown
PUBLISHED: 12:02 30 October 2009 | UPDATED: 16:30 07 September 2010
Ben McPartland A MASSIVE police operation is underway to prevent any fright nights for residents during Halloween. Dozens of extra officers will be drafted in across the borough over the weekend to avoid any outbreaks of violence or anti-social behaviour
A MASSIVE police operation is underway to prevent any fright nights for residents during Halloween.
Dozens of extra officers will be drafted in across the borough over the weekend to avoid any outbreaks of violence or anti-social behaviour.
And officers have also been conducting fingertip searches across parts of Camden in the hunt for any hidden weapons, which might be used in gang fights.
On Tuesday there were some alarming discoveries when members of the Swiss Cottage and Kilburn Safer Neighbourhoods Teams (SNT) unearthed several knives and a sharpened snooker cue, which had been concealed ready for use.
Speaking after the weapons sweep, known as Operation Larne, Sgt Nick Parry, from the Swiss Cottage team told the Ham&High: "Youths know we are using our stop and search powers on them so they will often hide the weapons nearby so they will be in close proximity of them if they arrange a gang fight.
"If we don't do anything about this we could end up with someone being stabbed. The operation is about searching for the weapons, finding them and then destroying them."
Three knives were found in the Rowley Way and Abbey Road estates in South Hampstead during Tuesday morning's search by 12 officers.
Police also hunted through the bushes and shrubs of the Swiss Cottage Open Space where youths have been known to gather.
Sgt Eddie Odita of the Kilburn SNT said: "The idea is to reassure the public in the run up to Halloween. We are looking in places where the weapons can be easily concealed. We are taking it very seriously."
The period around October 31 is considered one of the busiest times for police along with the run up to Christmas and New Years Eve.
Shops around the area have been asked not to sell eggs or flour to youths because they have been used to target resident's houses in the past.
Officers are warning they will confiscate the products if any youngster is found to be in possession of them.
Shops have also been warned about selling fireworks to youngsters but with possibility to buy them over the internet police realise it is a difficult problem to solve.
Chief Insp Sean Wilson, head of Camden's operations unit said: "We will have a number of operations throughout the Halloween period. Naturally Halloween brings a lot of people out on the streets who would normally be at home and there is a chance they will become targets of crime."
Police will have extra response teams as well as members of the robbery squad on duty to prevent any street crime or outbreaks of anti-social behaviour.
Highgate Cemetery will also be on red alert to look out for any uninvited guests trying to get into the ancient burial ground at night. The cemetery, which has been targeted in the past by foolhardy folks hoping to catch sight of ghosts or ghouls, will have 12 volunteers on duty to help prevent any security breaches.