On Thursday, 18 March, at approximately 7.10pm, ten plain-clothed police officers from the Met’s North West Violence Suppression Unit were on patrol in the Grahame Park Estate in Colindale.
They were responding to information that there was a large gathering in the area.
The officers approached a group of approximately six males, believed to be local to the area, who immediately ran off. The officers gave chase on foot.
During this chase, it is believed that a firearm was discharged a number of times by one of the suspects towards the unarmed officers.
Fortunately, nobody was injured, although officers were understandably shaken by the incident.
Detectives investigating the circumstances of the incident are appealing to the public for information to identify and locate those involved.
Further police resources, including armed response vehicles, were deployed to the scene and a thorough search of the area was conducted.
The public may have seen a heightened police presence in the area overnight. A Section 60 order, providing officers with additional search powers, was in place on the Grahame Park Estate and surrounding roads until 9am this morning, Friday, 19 March.
Detectives from the Met’s Specialist Crime North Command are investigating.
Detective Chief Inspector Gemma Alger, investigating, said: “The message is clear that any levels of violence against our colleagues who serve the public and keep our communities safe will not be tolerated. We are committed to finding those involved and fully investigating the circumstances.
“The repercussions of this split-second action could have been grave – we could potentially have been dealing with a murder investigation. Nobody should go to work fearing that they may never return home.
“We are seeking the help of the public to identify the group of around six males who are believed to have resorted to extreme violence when pursued by police.
“We encourage anyone who may have security, dashcam or doorcam footage, or any information relating to the incident or suspect group to please get in touch. You can do so anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers who will not even ask for your name.”
In the past 12 months, there have been 7,140 recorded assaults on Met Police officers – an increase of 19.1% on the previous year.
The level and extent of violence faced by police in the execution of their duty is an ever-present concern among officers who work hard, daily, to keep Londoners safe.
In addition, incidents of this type can have long-term physical and psychological effects on officers.
Anyone who witnessed the incident, or who has information about those involved, is urged to call 101 or Tweet @MetCC quoting CAD6602/18MAR.
Information can also be provided to Crimestoppers, 100% anonymously, by calling 0800 555 111 or visiting crimestoppers_uk.org.
A 49-year-old man was arrested nearby on suspicion of constructive possession of a firearm*, assaulting an emergency worker and possession of cannabis. He remains in custody at a north London police station. He is not believed to be linked to the suspect group of males.
By definition, possession of a firearm may be constructive, that is, where one does not have physical custody or ownership of the weapon but is in a position to exercise dominion or control over it.