We chat to the Tottenham Green neighbourhood police team about Operation Hake

Last month, DT visited Tottenham Police Station for a chat with the Tottenham Green Neighbourhood police team, to find out about Operation Hake which focused on the Seven Sisters station High Road exit and around the market.

Each ward has a team of four. A sergeant, Thomas Hassan, two PCs, Jason Taylor and Kayleigh Mitcham, and PCSO Avroulla Wyke make up the neighbourhood team for the Tottenham Green ward.

The team were welcoming and explained that they want to build further bridges between themselves and the community. There are regular opportunies for the community to meet the team at a local cafes and locations to have an informal chat and address any potential concerns. Follow them on Twitter to keep up to date.

Under the current conservative government, the police service has suffered a number of cuts and a visit to the station makes that quite evident. Just a year ago, they had a ten strong team and now there are just four on the ground, day to day, covering the whole of Tottenham Green. With resources limited, the team explain that they do the best with what they have. With a merger of Haringey and Enfield police recently announced, DT wonders if that will impact on resources even further.

The police encourage all residents and business owners in the area to make a report if they witness a crime, no matter how small, because they are able to bid for more resources based on the figures. The quickest way to report a non-urgent crime, and ensure it’s logged, is via their website or by calling 101. You should still call 999 in an emergency.

Sergeant Hassan explained that ‘Operation Hake was set up in response to a rise in violent crime, robbery and complaints of drug dealing and anti-social behaviour’ and the impact it was having on the area near the underground station and the market.

Operation Hake started in early 2018. The team explained that the increase in crime was having a detrimental impact on the public and the surrounding businesses so the police worked with the local businesses, Haringey Council and Transport for London to find solutions to reduce the rise in crime. One of the solutions was to remove benches from outside the station, which had been ‘drawing these groups to sit in the area and conduct their unlawful business and hide weapons and drugs’.

The team were able to put extra resources into Operation Hake by applying for an overtime budget which allowed them to recruit neighbourhood officers to work extended hours which was a mixture of uniformed officers, conducting high visibility patrols, and covert officers in plain clothes. They also obtained help from the MPS Taskforce (TSG), Haringey Council funded Priority Partnership Team (police officers dedicated to issues the council direct them to) and Haringey Police’s proactive unit.

Outside Seven Sisters tube station, on High Road

Sergeant Hassan continued, ‘We have seen a huge decrease of weapons and drugs being hidden in the locality when the team have conducted weapons sweeps. We have attended many meetings with local businesses to hear their concerns and even conducted ‘Environmental Visual Audits’ (EVA) at the businesses to advise on CCTV, lighting etc.

‘The next phase was identification and targeting of individuals causing the ASB and involved in criminality. The team has spent many long hours covertly identifying individuals. The aim of this was to identify and issue the individuals with community protection notices (CPN).

Community Protection Notices –

1)An authorised person may issue a community protection notice to an individual aged 16 or over, or a body, if satisfied on reasonable grounds that—
(a)the conduct of the individual or body is having a detrimental effect, of a persistent or continuing nature, on the quality of life of those in the locality, and
(b)the conduct is unreasonable.

‘In order to issue a CPN the individual concerned must first be given a Community protection warning (CPW) to stop their behaviour over a defined period. If they ignore this warning a CPN can be issued. Once a CPN has been issued any further breaches can result in positive action – either a fine, an arrest or summons to court.’

In June, the police reported that they had issued ’10 CPWs and 8 CPNs banning the individuals from the area and associating with one another.’

Sergeant Hassan said ‘The next phase was enforcement of the CPNs. The team have spent the past month patrolling outside the station in uniform and plain clothes on days of action. Where grounds have existed Stop & Search has been used on the intelligence gained and the actions of the individuals. Extra resources have been pulled into the area to enforce the CPNs under the name Operation Hake. Breaches of the CPN have been enforced and positive action taken.’

By the end of June, the following happened:

10 arrests for offences such as ‘Breach of CPN’, possession of drugs and possession with intent to supply drugs.
7 people have been summoned to court for breach of CPN.
2 Criminal Behavior orders (CBO) have been applied for and awaiting hearings at court.
2 fines issued (Penalty notices for disorder).
6 Cannabis warnings issued.
5 ABC’s issued.

We asked the team if they were doing anything to work with and help the young people. They explained that they have a safeguarding team that supports under 18s and that a CPN could also be potentially used as a way out so that the young people no longer have to deal.

To sum up, Sergeant Hassan said: ‘There has been a noticeable difference to the area outside the market and the station with groups of males no longer loitering as they know the team can easily identify them and take action each time they do. Over the coming months we hope to see a decrease in criminality, violent crime and ASB at the location due to the individuals being banned from the area.’

The quickest way to report a non-urgent crime, and ensure it’s logged, is via the Met Police website  or by calling 101. You should still call 999 in an emergency.

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