A safe night for all
Islington has a thriving night-time economy – from friendly pubs, bars and restaurants to music venues and iconic nightclubs, people travel from miles around for a great night out in Islington.
However, you might not have noticed a very important part of Islington after dark – Operation Nightsafe.
Operation Nightsafe’s dedicated patrol officers have helped hundreds of late-night revellers since 2015 and saved lives on Islington’s streets. The team – which is the first of its kind in London – support Islington Council and the police to keep an eye on busy areas at night, preventing criminal behaviour, helping people to get home safely and providing medical assistance if needed.
In May the team received a Borough Commander’s Award for its professionalism, dedication and bravery in apprehending an armed man last year and preventing a potential stabbing.
Scott Pearse, who was on duty, explains “as we conducted a patrol along Holloway Road at 7am on Sunday 20 December, we noticed a man loitering outside the tube station. He looked suspicious, as he appeared to be trying to hide behind a road sign. As we approached, we saw that he was holding a large knife, which he was trying to conceal up his sleeve. We jumped out of our patrol van and apprehended him – he tried to resist and we had quite a struggle, but we managed to put him in handcuffs and call the police who later arrested him.”
The man was actually carrying two 10cm knives with additional knives were later recovered. During questioning, he admitted to police that he was waiting for a person he planned to attack. He was later prosecuted and given a suspended sentence and a fine.
Jan Hart, Service Director, Public Protection at Islington Council said: “We are thrilled that the Operation Nightsafe team has received this award, which recognises the skill and bravery our officers showed when faced with an armed man and highlights the vital contribution they make to keeping the streets of Islington safe.”
Congratulations to Operation Nightsafe and thank you to all its staff!