Borough commander aiming to win back Richmond's safest tag

Knows the area: Chief Superintendent Colin Kennedy

Knows the area: Chief Superintendent Colin Kennedy

First published in News Richmond and Twickenham Times: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

Richmond's new borough commander wants the borough to be the safest in London and says he is not a fan of knife arches.

Chief Superintendent Colin Kennedy, who has lived in Teddington for 28 years, took over from interim predecessor Detective Superintendent Debra Towns last month.

Having worked for the Metropolitan Police since 1986, he has set out the objective to make Richmond the safest borough in London.

He said: "Our primary objective will be to drive levels of crime and antisocial behaviour down even more.

"It does seem the majority of crime does appear, on face value, to be committed by offenders coming from outside the borough.

"But that doesn't mean we can be complacent - while residential burglaries have fallen significantly, lots of sheds and gardens are being broken into.

"These are the type of properties people keep high value items in and I am pleading with the community to safeguard them."

Chief Supt Kennedy is half-German and his wife is a journalist for German newspaper Bild.

He considers himself to be very much part of the community he aims to protect, while his children attended the German School in Petersham before studying at Richmond College.

Having spent his first Saturday night in the job working with officers, he paid tribute to the good work of Det Supt Towns and her team.

He said: "That night we dealt with a number of different cases, including domestic abuse, which you will get everywhere.

"I was hugely impressed with the way the officers went about their jobs and the patience they displayed.

"It is definitely a legacy to my predecessor Det Supt Debbie Towns and the leadership team."

The first half of 2014 has seen a number of knife-related criminal incidents make headlines across Richmond.

The new borough commander said processes had been put in place with schools but admitted he is not keen on the use of knife arches, which can often be seen operating at Twickenham station.

He described an incident outside Richmond College in May, where a teenager was stabbed, as an "isolated incident".

He said: "The incident at Richmond College, in terms of the stabbing, was isolated.

"We have undertaken work with the college, and other schools, to develop a situation where parents and schools know how to report incidents.

"This is a safe borough and we have visitors who should be feeling safe - knife arches don't convey that and I won't want to see them there on a routine basis."

If you have not seen him out and about yet, keep your eyes peeled because Chief Supt Kennedy says he enjoys walking the beat on foot.

Comments (3)

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9:27pm Fri 8 Aug 14

Twickenham Bob says...

I feel most residents would like concrete action rather than PR Spin.

Locals know that the stabbing was not a 'one off' incident and that Richmond College is too large and there is a long list of incidents over the years from students jumping on tops of cars to riot like situations at the railway station.
I feel most residents would like concrete action rather than PR Spin. Locals know that the stabbing was not a 'one off' incident and that Richmond College is too large and there is a long list of incidents over the years from students jumping on tops of cars to riot like situations at the railway station. Twickenham Bob
  • Score: -3

2:05pm Sat 9 Aug 14

Culverin says...

Although the Met Police do seem to receive negative publicity from our national press, I have only found our local police to be very professional.

I am greatly encouraged that the new Borough Commander is a local man as he will be able to understand the needs of residents. This is a safe borough and one of the reasons for that is the excellent job done by our local police.
Although the Met Police do seem to receive negative publicity from our national press, I have only found our local police to be very professional. I am greatly encouraged that the new Borough Commander is a local man as he will be able to understand the needs of residents. This is a safe borough and one of the reasons for that is the excellent job done by our local police. Culverin
  • Score: 6

9:12pm Wed 13 Aug 14

Twickenham Bob says...

It doesn't feel very safe in the streets around Whitton.

The police have lost control and day in day out there are gangs of youths riding unregistered motorcycles over grass at Heathfield Rec and Murray Park.

They also tear down the main roads doing wheelies and cut up motor cars. There have been numerous complaints yet very little is being done by the police. Every night they ride down the same streets and despite lots of prodding they have done very little to try and stop them.

For example - you can see the complaints on the Whitton Village Facebook page to see its a widespread problem.
It doesn't feel very safe in the streets around Whitton. The police have lost control and day in day out there are gangs of youths riding unregistered motorcycles over grass at Heathfield Rec and Murray Park. They also tear down the main roads doing wheelies and cut up motor cars. There have been numerous complaints yet very little is being done by the police. Every night they ride down the same streets and despite lots of prodding they have done very little to try and stop them. For example - you can see the complaints on the Whitton Village Facebook page to see its a widespread problem. Twickenham Bob
  • Score: 2

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