WALTHAM FOREST: Specialist police to be drafted in following violence

Det Supt Sue Williams says police are frustrated by a lack of co-operation from victims and witnesses

Det Supt Sue Williams says police are frustrated by a lack of co-operation from victims and witnesses

First published in News by

EXTRA police are being drafted in after a week of violence on the streets of Waltham Forest ended in a 39-year-old being gunned down in a quiet residential street.

The murder on Monday followed two street stabbings and reports of gunfire near a children’s playground.

Police are hunting a lone gunman after a man was found with multiple bullet wounds in Higham Station Road, south Chingford, at 11.15pm and died later in hospital.

The victim has not been formally identified, but tributes left by family at the scene name him as Wayne.

Police are not connecting the murder with other recent violent attacks in Waltham Forest, in which two men were stabbed within four days.

A 21-year-old man was left fighting for his life after being knifed in the stomach in Leyton High Road, between the Coopers Lane and Brewsters Road junctions, at 2.45am on Monday.

A group of young people ran for their lives when gunshots were fired as two men approached in nearby Abbots Park on Friday at 4pm. There are no reports of any injuries.

Four days before, a 19-year-old was attacked by a group of four hooded men in Rhodesia Road, Leytonstone, as children made their way home from school at 4pm.

The attacks follow two shootings in the Higham Hill area of Walthamstow within ten days last month.

All victims are expected to make full recoveries.

No-one has been arrested in connection with the murder or the other attacks.

Speaking exclusively to the Guardian, Deputy Borough Commander Sue Williams said extra police units were being drafted in to the borough to cope with the upsurge in violence.

But she added a lack of co-operation from victims and witnesses was frustrating the hunt.

Det Supt Sue Williams said: “The core element of youngsters that are getting stabbed and shot don’t want to talk to us.

“They know exactly who has shot or stabbed them and the reasons why.

“They also think they can deal with it in their own way”.

But Det Supt Williams said her force would not be deterred by hostile witnesses, and was now looking to build a case without the co-operation of the victims, which is done with some domestic violence offences.

“If (victims) think they can keep quiet and nothing will happen, they are wrong, we will not tolerate this violence,” she added.

She said a four-week operation would see borough officers, joined by officers from specialist units, target problem areas.

“We’ve been doing a lot around youth violence,” she said.

A resident of Tudor Road, who lives yards from where floral tributes have been laid, said: “We heard four loud bangs. I looked out the window but couldn’t see anyone.

“It sounded like a car backfiring. My husband was downstairs and he said he didn’t think it sounded like a gun.

“I have lived here 18 years and have never really had any problems.

“My theory is, if someone is shooting someone at point blank range, maybe four times, they probably knew them and it was targeted. If it seemed more random I would worry more.”

Comments (10)

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3:18pm Wed 7 Jul 10

rubberneck says...

The Police lost control of the streets years ago and are now trying to close the stable door after the house has bolted, too little too late. Those in charge of waltham Forest should be given their marching orders as they seem more concerned with window dressing and handing out silly leaflets and stickers and marking peoples cycles than dealing with the influx of hardened criminals dealing in drugs and guns that control the streets these days.

Additionally, let us not forget there is still a rapist and murderer lurking the streets after of Walthamstow after two women were killed. Most of the Police locally live out in Essex and do not give a toot as to what goes on when they end their shift spent mostly in the Police canteen.
The Police lost control of the streets years ago and are now trying to close the stable door after the house has bolted, too little too late. Those in charge of waltham Forest should be given their marching orders as they seem more concerned with window dressing and handing out silly leaflets and stickers and marking peoples cycles than dealing with the influx of hardened criminals dealing in drugs and guns that control the streets these days. Additionally, let us not forget there is still a rapist and murderer lurking the streets after of Walthamstow after two women were killed. Most of the Police locally live out in Essex and do not give a toot as to what goes on when they end their shift spent mostly in the Police canteen. rubberneck
  • Score: 0

3:51pm Wed 7 Jul 10

Quintilis says...

Unduly trivial and cynical comment, rubberneck. No-one thinks policing in Waltham Forest (or London) is perfect, even the police, but the Safer Neighbourhood Teams are making a big difference. You may think leaflets and stickers are silly but they serve a valuable purpose and if more people acted upon their advice there would be less crime to deal with. Also, the Met can only police by consent and, as Sue Williams rightly says, they are hampered in their work if witnesses and victims fail to come forward or to co-operate. Snide comments about the police spending most of their time in the canteen are patently absurd. This is OUR police force and only by being active participants in the process of policing will we get the service we need. Attend your Ward Policing Panel, join (or set up) a Neighbourhood Watch scheme and attend Community Councils and/or the Community Safety Board. In other words, put up or shut up.
Unduly trivial and cynical comment, rubberneck. No-one thinks policing in Waltham Forest (or London) is perfect, even the police, but the Safer Neighbourhood Teams are making a big difference. You may think leaflets and stickers are silly but they serve a valuable purpose and if more people acted upon their advice there would be less crime to deal with. Also, the Met can only police by consent and, as Sue Williams rightly says, they are hampered in their work if witnesses and victims fail to come forward or to co-operate. Snide comments about the police spending most of their time in the canteen are patently absurd. This is OUR police force and only by being active participants in the process of policing will we get the service we need. Attend your Ward Policing Panel, join (or set up) a Neighbourhood Watch scheme and attend Community Councils and/or the Community Safety Board. In other words, put up or shut up. Quintilis
  • Score: 0

4:00pm Wed 7 Jul 10

rubberneck says...

Quintilis wrote:
Unduly trivial and cynical comment, rubberneck. No-one thinks policing in Waltham Forest (or London) is perfect, even the police, but the Safer Neighbourhood Teams are making a big difference. You may think leaflets and stickers are silly but they serve a valuable purpose and if more people acted upon their advice there would be less crime to deal with. Also, the Met can only police by consent and, as Sue Williams rightly says, they are hampered in their work if witnesses and victims fail to come forward or to co-operate. Snide comments about the police spending most of their time in the canteen are patently absurd. This is OUR police force and only by being active participants in the process of policing will we get the service we need. Attend your Ward Policing Panel, join (or set up) a Neighbourhood Watch scheme and attend Community Councils and/or the Community Safety Board. In other words, put up or shut up.
I am in a NW scheme, trouble is the Safer Neighbourhood Teams have discovered Police vehicles and now tend to ride around in them rather than Patrol which is what Blunkett wanted. Truth is the Police are too top heavy, have like the NHS 'managers' on ridiculous pay NOT leading their subordinates. Fish rot from the head down.
[quote][p][bold]Quintilis[/bold] wrote: Unduly trivial and cynical comment, rubberneck. No-one thinks policing in Waltham Forest (or London) is perfect, even the police, but the Safer Neighbourhood Teams are making a big difference. You may think leaflets and stickers are silly but they serve a valuable purpose and if more people acted upon their advice there would be less crime to deal with. Also, the Met can only police by consent and, as Sue Williams rightly says, they are hampered in their work if witnesses and victims fail to come forward or to co-operate. Snide comments about the police spending most of their time in the canteen are patently absurd. This is OUR police force and only by being active participants in the process of policing will we get the service we need. Attend your Ward Policing Panel, join (or set up) a Neighbourhood Watch scheme and attend Community Councils and/or the Community Safety Board. In other words, put up or shut up.[/p][/quote]I am in a NW scheme, trouble is the Safer Neighbourhood Teams have discovered Police vehicles and now tend to ride around in them rather than Patrol which is what Blunkett wanted. Truth is the Police are too top heavy, have like the NHS 'managers' on ridiculous pay NOT leading their subordinates. Fish rot from the head down. rubberneck
  • Score: 0

4:03pm Wed 7 Jul 10

Techno2 says...

Quintilis wrote:
Unduly trivial and cynical comment, rubberneck. No-one thinks policing in Waltham Forest (or London) is perfect, even the police, but the Safer Neighbourhood Teams are making a big difference. You may think leaflets and stickers are silly but they serve a valuable purpose and if more people acted upon their advice there would be less crime to deal with. Also, the Met can only police by consent and, as Sue Williams rightly says, they are hampered in their work if witnesses and victims fail to come forward or to co-operate. Snide comments about the police spending most of their time in the canteen are patently absurd. This is OUR police force and only by being active participants in the process of policing will we get the service we need. Attend your Ward Policing Panel, join (or set up) a Neighbourhood Watch scheme and attend Community Councils and/or the Community Safety Board. In other words, put up or shut up.
Ignoring the specifics of a person's very detailed contribution and then saying 'put up or shut up' is not a helpful way to go about improving people's engagement with this issue.

I once did go along to a meeting at an SNT. It was quite interesting. But it was a fact that the room next door was full of police and PCSOs all folding leaflets and putting them in envelopes, so rubberneck's comments are not actually too far off the mark.
[quote][p][bold]Quintilis[/bold] wrote: Unduly trivial and cynical comment, rubberneck. No-one thinks policing in Waltham Forest (or London) is perfect, even the police, but the Safer Neighbourhood Teams are making a big difference. You may think leaflets and stickers are silly but they serve a valuable purpose and if more people acted upon their advice there would be less crime to deal with. Also, the Met can only police by consent and, as Sue Williams rightly says, they are hampered in their work if witnesses and victims fail to come forward or to co-operate. Snide comments about the police spending most of their time in the canteen are patently absurd. This is OUR police force and only by being active participants in the process of policing will we get the service we need. Attend your Ward Policing Panel, join (or set up) a Neighbourhood Watch scheme and attend Community Councils and/or the Community Safety Board. In other words, put up or shut up.[/p][/quote]Ignoring the specifics of a person's very detailed contribution and then saying 'put up or shut up' is not a helpful way to go about improving people's engagement with this issue. I once did go along to a meeting at an SNT. It was quite interesting. But it was a fact that the room next door was full of police and PCSOs all folding leaflets and putting them in envelopes, so rubberneck's comments are not actually too far off the mark. Techno2
  • Score: 0

4:41pm Wed 7 Jul 10

Quintilis says...

Specifics are all very well, Techno2 but I maintain that comments about police in canteens etc are unhelpful and don't advance the argument. However, rubberneck has now responded with more positive information, which puts a different complexion on matters. I'm pleased to report that my SNT are still 'bobbies on bicycles' but I agree about leaflet-folding. Inordinate amounts of officer time seem to be taken up with surveys, for example, which generate a statistically infinitesimal response. My NW does everything it can to help the SNT with leafletting in order to free up the Team to get on with their job of policing the streets and intelligence gathering.
Specifics are all very well, Techno2 but I maintain that comments about police in canteens etc are unhelpful and don't advance the argument. However, rubberneck has now responded with more positive information, which puts a different complexion on matters. I'm pleased to report that my SNT are still 'bobbies on bicycles' but I agree about leaflet-folding. Inordinate amounts of officer time seem to be taken up with surveys, for example, which generate a statistically infinitesimal response. My NW does everything it can to help the SNT with leafletting in order to free up the Team to get on with their job of policing the streets and intelligence gathering. Quintilis
  • Score: 0

7:29pm Wed 7 Jul 10

rubberneck says...

Harvy-Jones (the businessman) did a series 'troubleshooter' few years ago and went in to a Police Force to troobleshoot. I never forget the scene when he went into a C.I.D office and burst out laughing at a Detective Inspecter 'two finger typing' and exclaimed 'Hahahaha 50 grand a year typist! he should be out catching crooks! (or words to that effect).

The Police have been bogged down with this sort of stuff for years and Harvey-Jones said then that it would be more prudent to employ another typist at 10k per year than use a resource like a Detective Inspector to fill forms.

They are Institutionally Ineffeicient!

Community Officers on 25k per year now stuffing envelopes instead of patrolling the streets
Harvy-Jones (the businessman) did a series 'troubleshooter' few years ago and went in to a Police Force to troobleshoot. I never forget the scene when he went into a C.I.D office and burst out laughing at a Detective Inspecter 'two finger typing' and exclaimed 'Hahahaha 50 grand a year typist! he should be out catching crooks! (or words to that effect). The Police have been bogged down with this sort of stuff for years and Harvey-Jones said then that it would be more prudent to employ another typist at 10k per year than use a resource like a Detective Inspector to fill forms. They are Institutionally Ineffeicient! Community Officers on 25k per year now stuffing envelopes instead of patrolling the streets rubberneck
  • Score: 0

8:01pm Wed 7 Jul 10

AvidLondonReader says...

The police should get out and about in plain clothes and see what I see every single day. Then contact their colleagues who can make arrests. Yobs hanging around KFC everyday are obviously doing drug deals. It's blatant so why can't the police see it? They're never around to that's why.
The police should get out and about in plain clothes and see what I see every single day. Then contact their colleagues who can make arrests. Yobs hanging around KFC everyday are obviously doing drug deals. It's blatant so why can't the police see it? They're never around to that's why. AvidLondonReader
  • Score: 0

8:06pm Wed 7 Jul 10

Quintilis says...

There is some truth in what you say, rubberneck, so all the more reason, given that no extra money will be forthcoming for several years, for we in the community to lend a hand if we want a better policing service. There is a successful scheme currently operating whereby volunteers can take on routine clerical work with the police. Some might ask why we should do this for free when officers are being paid but there are many retired people and those looking to build up their CVs (myself included) who consider freeing-up officers to do frontline work a worthwhile quid pro quo for better policing at no additional cost.
There is some truth in what you say, rubberneck, so all the more reason, given that no extra money will be forthcoming for several years, for we in the community to lend a hand if we want a better policing service. There is a successful scheme currently operating whereby volunteers can take on routine clerical work with the police. Some might ask why we should do this for free when officers are being paid but there are many retired people and those looking to build up their CVs (myself included) who consider freeing-up officers to do frontline work a worthwhile quid pro quo for better policing at no additional cost. Quintilis
  • Score: 0

1:11am Thu 8 Jul 10

Balmain says...

I lived in Kings X when it was a red light district with all the crime related activities. It was cleared up when a group of mothers campaigned to change their situation. After presenting the community’s “improvement” plan to the Metropolitan Commissioner for Police the area was taken out of the hands of Kings X police station and given to Holborn, Camden Council were invited to work with residents and police, and together they made it a much better place for everyone.

I’m not suggesting this is the answer for Waltham Forest because only the people who live there can work out what is really needed but I believe it takes a drastic change to get results. Recruiting extra cops for four weeks isn’t going to do it.
I lived in Kings X when it was a red light district with all the crime related activities. It was cleared up when a group of mothers campaigned to change their situation. After presenting the community’s “improvement” plan to the Metropolitan Commissioner for Police the area was taken out of the hands of Kings X police station and given to Holborn, Camden Council were invited to work with residents and police, and together they made it a much better place for everyone. I’m not suggesting this is the answer for Waltham Forest because only the people who live there can work out what is really needed but I believe it takes a drastic change to get results. Recruiting extra cops for four weeks isn’t going to do it. Balmain
  • Score: 0

5:56pm Tue 13 Jul 10

fabster says...

"Next door was full of police and PCSOs all folding leaflets and putting them in envelopes"

This reminds me of a funny story around 2 yrs ago when I was at home watching TV one weekend afternoon, I spotted someone dumping a bunch of papers in my wheelie bin. When I went out to check what it was, it turned out to be Safer Neighbourhood Team leaflets! We're talking easily a stack of approx 100+ leaflets.

I rang the number on the leaflet to let them know. Next day, not one, not two, not three, but four PCOs came round to pick them up explaining they had actually *PAID* someone to distribute these leaflets and asked if I could identify the culprit.

What I found surprising was that:
A) they had paid someone to do this, when the PCOs could've distributed the leaflets themselves whilst doing the beat & knocking on doors
B) it needed four men to come round that day to retrieve what one man had dumped (!)

Balmain, I agree with what you say, it's about residents coming together to solve the issues which blight their lives. No one else will take responsibility... Having said that, it's surprising the amount of apathy you will find when you start knocking on doors to form a Residents Association of any sort, never mind muster courage to tackle knifings & shootings.

Perhaps if they reduced the minimum percentage of residents required to form a Neighbourhood Watch, there would be more of them around. On my street last year, we were unable to gather 'sufficient' interest to form one, even though some of us were keen to set one up after a spate of burglaries, car theft and attempted break-ins.
"Next door was full of police and PCSOs all folding leaflets and putting them in envelopes" This reminds me of a funny story around 2 yrs ago when I was at home watching TV one weekend afternoon, I spotted someone dumping a bunch of papers in my wheelie bin. When I went out to check what it was, it turned out to be Safer Neighbourhood Team leaflets! We're talking easily a stack of approx 100+ leaflets. I rang the number on the leaflet to let them know. Next day, not one, not two, not three, but four PCOs came round to pick them up explaining they had actually *PAID* someone to distribute these leaflets and asked if I could identify the culprit. What I found surprising was that: A) they had paid someone to do this, when the PCOs could've distributed the leaflets themselves whilst doing the beat & knocking on doors B) it needed four men to come round that day to retrieve what one man had dumped (!) Balmain, I agree with what you say, it's about residents coming together to solve the issues which blight their lives. No one else will take responsibility... Having said that, it's surprising the amount of apathy you will find when you start knocking on doors to form a Residents Association of any sort, never mind muster courage to tackle knifings & shootings. Perhaps if they reduced the minimum percentage of residents required to form a Neighbourhood Watch, there would be more of them around. On my street last year, we were unable to gather 'sufficient' interest to form one, even though some of us were keen to set one up after a spate of burglaries, car theft and attempted break-ins. fabster
  • Score: 0

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