Policing by Consent


Inspector Chris Russell, who oversees neighbourhood policing for north Redbridge, reflects on the Hainault sword attack and emphasises his desire for police officers to earn trust in the community

Hello again from your Neighbourhood Inspector for north Redbridge. I was asked following my last article in March: “What does north Redbridge actually cover?” So, to clarify, I cover all Redbridge wards north of the A12 (plus Wanstead Park ward).

In April, we saw the horrific sword attack in Hainault where 14-year-old Daniel Anjorin tragically lost his life on his way to school. Four other people suffered serious injuries, including two police officers, who were bravely protecting the public and attempting to arrest the attacker. My Safer Neighbourhoods Teams (SNT) were on scene within minutes, along with colleagues from emergency response and the town centre teams, and the suspect was arrested and taken to custody. He has since been charged and remanded to prison and now awaits trial. My thoughts go out to all those who were affected by this horrendous crime and continue to piece their lives back together since that awful day. For anyone who would like support following the attack, whether directly or indirectly impacted, please call Victim Support (0808 168 9111), who offer a range of services that may help.

In the aftermath of the attack, we immediately ensured Hainault and the surrounding areas received additional, daily reassurance patrols, along with setting up the Hainault Engagement Hub at Hainault Library in collaboration with our partners from the council. This provided a fixed location the community could attend to speak with local officers. We also held discussions with local faith leaders, schools and at youth engagement events, and door-knocked in the area so everyone could access a police officer and raise any concerns they had.

Policing does not work in isolation, and we are reliant on you, the public and our partners in almost everything we do. Community engagement and partnership work are the foundations of what neighbourhood policing is all about and are key in maintaining the Peelian principles of policing by consent. Although much has changed since the creation of the Metropolitan Police Act back in 1829 (often referred to as the creation of modern-day policing), Sir Robert Peel’s principles remain just as relevant today and form the basis of what my neighbourhood teams do. 

We have fantastic officers working in Redbridge who care deeply about improving your quality of life. We attend a variety of community events to see as many of you as possible and hear about your concerns and ideas for safety in your local area. Policing is only successful if we have your support and trust, and I am very conscious that trust is earned.

South Woodford’s SNT will be hosting a 45-minute ‘Cuppa with a Copper’ session at Starbucks on 10 July from 1pm. To contact local police, visit swvg.co.uk/police