No CCTV for Temple Fortune crime hotspot
SECURITY cameras will not be introduced into the Temple Fortune spot where a woman was brutally car-jacked, despite a campaign from residents and traders. Barnet s new police chief, Detective Superintendent David Tucker, said there is not enough cash to
SECURITY cameras will not be introduced into the Temple Fortune spot where a woman was brutally car-jacked, despite a campaign from residents and traders.
Barnet's new police chief, Detective Superintendent David Tucker, said there is not enough cash to step up security in the area, regardless of a petition begging for CCTV.
Concerns were raised after trader Lorretta Paterson was the victim of a brutal car-jacking in Finchley Road in October following numerous smash and grab attacks on shops in the area earlier this year.
But Dep Supt Tucker, who took over the top job in the same month Ms Paterson was targeted, said the well-to-do shopping area wasn't his priority.
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"Our response to that emergency call was extremely quick," he said. "I was in a patrol very close to the incident and we got there very fast but other officers had beaten us there.
"I'm aware of what's happening. We want to have CCTV everywhere but the reality is there is a certain amount of cash and it has to be prioritised. The pot of money is finite."
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Owner of a Temple Fortune gift shop, Ms Paterson, was car-jacked by three men at 6pm on October 31.
They smashed her head into her BMW door before making off with the car and her jewellery.
Det Supt Tucker ruled out the CCTV campaign in his first meeting with the press on Friday.
The officer, who trained in Barnet early in his career, will hold the position until February 2009 and possibly longer, depending on whether his predecessor Stephen Kavanagh, currently on a course, returns to the post.
As well as the issues in Temple Fortune, he has had to oversee one of the grisliest cases in the borough's history since his appointment.
In March, a young woman was attacked with acid in Golders Green and left critically ill and disfigured.
"It was really horrific," he said. "We were aware of the motivation behind it from early on and we put a lot of resources into solving it. We made it a priority."
The woman's ex-boyfriend Danny Lynch, who ordered the attack, was found guilty at Wood Green Crown Court, along with Stefan Sylvestre, who pleaded guilty to carrying out the heinous crime in October. Both are awaiting sentencing.
"I'm extremely proud of the two detectives who did all the work in the case and also the great courage shown by the victim,"
Det Supt Tucker continued. "Anyone who was involved in that case felt we wanted to support her and do the best we could."
On the future of the Golders Green Police Station, Det Supt Tucker, is following the footsteps of his predecessor.
The police Asset Management Plan includes the listed building in the stations earmarked for closure but Det Supt Tucker says the Finchley Road station will not be removed unless there is a suitable alternative.
Another challenge facing the top cop is the credit crunch. He is concerned the economic crisis could lead to an increase in hate crime and people may start turning to parties like the BNP.
"In times of stress people look to blame others, but what they have to realise is that we are all in this together," he said.
"For some people groups like the BNP are a simple answer but it's wrong. People who extol violence and hatred and vilify people in communities are operating in a simplistic way and their outlook and their aims are just horrible.