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Statement: Events at Grahame Park & Colindale Police Station following arrest of 14-year-old child

We would like to thank everyone for their support in relation to the incident that occurred on Friday 7th August 2020, at the Grahame Park Estate and the events which followed at Colindale Police Station. We intend to make a full public statement regarding the circumstances which led up to this event and the event itself in due course. 

Unfortunately, there is a lack of trust and faith in policing in the local area and a long history of discrimination and criminalisation of young people which lies at the centre of the issue. As a result, The 4Front Project provides support to local young people to monitor their interactions with the police and ensure processes and procedures are followed. This includes our staff responding to calls for guidance and support during difficult interactions with police, acting as Appropriate Adults in the police station when requested, liaising with lawyers and delivering other advocacy support services. Unfortunately, the treatment of the children and young people who we support, by the local police, has given rise to serious concerns.

On Friday, several members of our staff team responded to an urgent call from a young person, as well as another report from a concerned resident regarding the circumstances which led to the arrest of a 14-year-old child, who first engaged with us over a year ago. As we regularly do, our team attended the scene to support the child. We attempted to speak with the police officers present in order to establish the facts pertaining to his arrest in the hope that they would engage with us.

Regretfully, our concerns in relation to this child were not isolated to this particular day, but extend to a number of recent incidents in which this child’s treatment during his encounters with the police have caused alarm to our organisation as well as the lawyers involved. At present, our main concern is the safety and welfare of the child who was arrested and to ensure he is supported. We have been working closely with his family to discuss how we should move forward. Due to his age and the sensitivities relating to this specific matter, we would ask that everyone respect their privacy at this time.

We would also like to clarify that our offices were not raided by the police. At no point did we make any statement or inform any individuals or organisations that our offices on Grahame Park Estate had been raided by the police. We are not aware of the source of this misinformation however we have made enquiries. We are aware that this was shared by the UKBLM organisation.  We have contacted their representatives to discuss the ramifications of this misinformation being shared and have asked them to remove the tweet in which it was shared, which they have confirmed they will do.

As noted above, we will provide a further statement in due course.

Thank you for your continued support.

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