Meriden Policing Update – December 2018

A Policing Update by PC Mo Huzair

20th December 2018

The residents raised concerns about drugs in the area, and for months I have not been able to update you.  This is because we cannot comment on ongoing intelligence investigations as it would jeopardise any such investigation.  This is incredibly frustrating for everybody as I can’t publicly defend ourselves against any criticisms raised by the residents.  But now finally I am able to tell you what we’ve been doing about it!

In late summer we had sufficient information provided locally to progress an investigation into the supply of drugs around the Meriden.
We then had to put together an operational order, which plans out the operation, the methods and locations , making decisions about the necessity to investigate the crimes and the effects on the neighbourhood against the human rights of people who may be affected by such an operation.
We then worked with our partner teams in intervention and plain clothes units to further that intelligence and crack down on the low level dealers, which resulted in a number of arrests for supplying drugs.

I then had to go to a court and satisfy them that there was enough information to swear out warrants.  It was then a case of resourcing the warrants, which is quite a staff intensive job.
Then warrants were executed as part of that ongoing investigation.

This has been a tremendous success so far. 

Below is the press release which went out on 20th December 2018.

Police Press Release

20th December 2018

Further drug warrants in Watford

Police in Watford continued their crackdown on drug crime by carrying out further warrants in the town.

On Thursday 13th December, officers from the Safer Neighbourhood Team and Operation Scorpion unit, executed warrants under Police and criminal evidence act, at two addresses in the Meriden ward.

One man was arrested at an address in The Gossamers in connection with eight criminal damage offences, for which he was given a caution, and on suspicion of a drugs offence for which he remains under investigation at this time.  A small quantity of herbal cannabis was seized, along with cash and mobile phones.

No arrests were made at the second address in Garsmouth Way but a number of weapons were volunteered to police for destruction.

PC Mo Huzair, who led the operation, said: “These warrants were executed as part of an ongoing investigation into the supply of drugs in Watford, led by the local Safer Neighbourhood Team, with support from Operation Scorpion.

“We are regularly carrying out warrants to try and target those suspected of being involved in drug supply and associated criminality.  If you are, it’s only a matter of time before we catch up with you.

“Drugs can have a big impact on local communities as they are often the catalyst for more violent crime.  If you suspect drug crime in your neighbourhood, please continue to report it to police so we can build up an intelligence picture to enable us to take appropriate action.”

Anyone with information can contact the non-emergency number 101 or report information online at

Alternatively, you can stay 100% anonymous by contacting the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via their untraceable online form at

For over 30 years, Crimestoppers has always kept its promise of anonymity to everyone who contacts them.

Meriden Policing Update – November 2018

A Policing Update by PC Mo Huzair

13th November 2018

Figures are approximate

Firstly, my apologies for my lack of attendance at the MRA meeting, we unfortunately found a young person self-harming in a car park on our way there and had to deal with that, which took some hours.  However, I am pleased to say that we were able to provide certificates of thanks to two young persons who acted magnificently aiding the person in question prior to our arrival.  Both are local residents who we should be proud of.

The matters I would have addressed would have been:

Summary of the previous year:

ASB survey returns

We had less than a 50% return of the ASB surveys from the end of last year and so have failed to gather a bigger picture around the needs of the shopkeepers as we could not show a need to redirect resources from other areas.

Due to this, no extra resourcing was able to be provided for the majority of the year.  As there was a normal crime and ASB rate, I was also required to take responsibility for the Tudor estate (as previously discussed) and have been dealing with both estates for some time, so my time is divided.

Over the summer holidays and subsequent half term holidays, The Gossamers was added as a potential hotspot as part of our operation Catapan, where it received minimum of two visits per night by uniformed patrol.

More recently (August to October), I am very pleased to note that we have had an increase in reporting of incidents and more engagement with local residents.  This has led to being able to provide more support for the area.  The Community Safety Unit and I have completed an analysis, and there was a rise from 10 calls over that period (averaged over last three years) to 30 calls this year.

The problems relate to three specific issues:

  1. A vagrant male being drunk and abusive outside the shops. (6 calls)
  2. A specific neighbour dispute (14 calls between the two parties)
  3. Shoplifting, ASB, drugs at the shops (10 calls).

In relation to the vagrant male, due to the reports, we were able to serve a community protection warning on him and stepped up patrols capturing evidence of him breaching that.  Yesterday, he was served with a formal Notice banning him from the area, breaching this will be an offence for which he can receive a court summons.  This took 2 months from reporting to issuing.  This could have been quicker; however, it appears that local shopkeepers were still serving the male alcohol despite the ASB.  A polite request has stopped this now.

The specific neighbourhood dispute is being dealt with but the matter cannot currently be discussed, as it is an ongoing investigation.  However, once this is dealt with there is a permanent fix in sight and this will reduce the figures.

The Co-op, at our request, have increased their reporting of shoplifters and have engaged with us amazingly over the last year.  This has meant we have been able to investigate and prosecute 3 offenders for 12 offences in the last few months.  With the support of parents, these young people have not re-attended the shops and the message is getting out there.  I can safely say that without the Co-op’s information to us, we would not have had sufficient legal justification to remove certain youths from the area.


We have finally had an increase in reliable reporting of drugs intelligence.  However, some people have been emailing me and complaining that I won’t tell them what we are doing about it.

Unfortunately, under no circumstances will we share intelligence investigations with the public until an outcome has been achieved.

Very often these pieces of intelligence feed into a bigger picture in very sensitive matters, sometimes ongoing long-term investigations.  However, if people watch this space, I hope to be able to review cases and report back the results this time next year.

There is no way for me to tell you how important the drugs intelligence we got has been, and I need to encourage people to continue to report, but be patient, these are not quick things.

The need to report

Unfortunately, information has come to me that some members of the local community, including some local business owners have stated they will not report to the police for various reasons.

Obviously, this does not aid our collective aim, and we would seek to reassure all residents and stakeholders that reports can be treated as anonymous if the reporter requests that, and that timely reports to police are not just desired but an absolute necessity. We are missing opportunities and certain people won’t engage with us and allow us to provide support.

On a positive note, since we received the uptake in calls in Oct and conducted our analysis, it took less than a month to target and deal with those causes and have reduced the calls back to the normal rate.  This goes to show that with good reporting we can act decisively and swiftly to deal with the issues. But WE NEED REPORTING!

Meriden Policing

A Policing Update from PC Mo Huzair

Anti Social Behaviour Survey

We had three returns on the original ASB survey which was posted and then hand-delivered to each premise on the parade of shops.  The information contained within gave a history of ASB, but sporadic and with little pattern.  Assessing the new information against the existing reports of ASB and offending there, resulted with an assessment which resulted in no need for an uptake in extra patrolling and resourcing.

The Shop Parade

Following the initial meeting, a week of extra resourcing was provided with a guaranteed hour of patrol for 7 days, I conducted an additional plainclothes patrol with another officer to observe the anecdotal reports of drug dealing and ASB during the peak times.  However, I personally observed no actual drug dealing.  I did observe groups of persons and youths gathering but actually committing no offences.

As previously explained, the simple process of youths gathering is provided for as a Right to freedom of association under the human rights act.

ASB notices were issued to a number of people who had been involved in previous offences, and some have been dealt with in conjunction with housing associations with some severity.

The shops were asked to report all incidents for a year.  As a result, we have had no more than usual reports from the shops, but the co-op has repeatedly reported shopliftings, which has resulted in 12 extra prosecutions since the meeting, and significant intelligence being gathered.

We have had some reports of ASB since that previous meeting, but about the same as other estates, so no extra resourcing is justified.

Over the summer holidays, I have added the location to our specific ASB patrols and will be patrolled every night over this period.  So far, this averages to three visits a night by officers, doing drive by or active patrols.

Drug Use

We have had an increase in reports of drug use in the park by the Community Centre, however, the majority appears to be the use of those small silver nitrous oxide canisters.  Annoyingly there is no criminal offence of possession or use of these in small amounts.  Extra patrols and plainclothes officers have attended but no offenders have yet been identified.  Operations are ongoing.

Domestic Incidents

The majority of violent crimes on the estate remain domestic incidents.

Work is ongoing through the courts, and offender services to reduce these.

I will be conducting a poster and information campaign in key locations on the estate to try to advise victims of their rights.

Overall Crime rate

The overall crime rate still remains around the national average and comparative to other estates of similar make up.  No specific current trends that I am aware of.


I have been away for about 6 weeks due to leave and training out of the area, and the estate was covered by the other officer on my team, but now I am back.

I have been required to take up the Tudor estate additionally for the foreseeable future.  So now my time is currently spent divided between the following (in no particular order):

  1. Crime investigation (both estates and Watford wide)
  2. Responding to 999 calls.
  3. Project work and crime reduction programmes.
  4. Patrol the Meriden.
  5. Patrol the Tudor.

So previously the Meriden patrols were receiving a third of my time, now reduced slightly in order to incorporate my additional duties.

PC Mo Huzair