In May, Harrow faced “unprecedented” levels of serious violent crime, according to its new borough commander.

Simon Rose, who oversees police in Harrow, Barnet and Brent, addressed concerned residents in Wealdstone at a packed crime and safety meeting after a series of high profile incidents, including a murder outside Queensbury tube station and a drive-by shooting in Wealdstone High Street.

Mr Rose sought to placate a nervous crowd by explaining that the police had put extra measures in place to cope with the rise in violent crime.

He said: “Harrow is one of the safest boroughs in London, but what we have seen is unprecedented.

“It’s a really concerning increase in serious crime. Harrow hasn’t changed for the good. I’m sorry, but it’s true and it’s a fair criticism of what has happened.

“It is the most challenged area [in the tri-borough region] at the moment and we need a formulated plan.”

Labour Councillor Graham Henson was confirmed as the new leader of Harrow Council on May 23, at the annual meeting of the council in the Civic Centre.

A councillor for the past 12 years for Roxbourne ward, in south Harrow, Cllr Henson had previously served as Harrow’s portfolio holder for environment.

He said: “I am truly honoured and privileged to have the opportunity as leader.

“My vision for Harrow is for a place that all residents can feel proud of, where they can feel safe and where they want to live.

“We must be resolute and determined in the face of those who wish to attack and harm our borough.”

At the same meeting, Cllr Kareema Marikar was officially elected to the duty of Mayor of Harrow.

Kaiya Patel

The parents of a six-year-old girl with a rare and aggressive form of leukaemia pleaded for donors to come forward and save her life.

Kaiya Patel who attends St. Helens School in Northwood was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia at Watford General Hospital in March.

Her parents, Ruchit and Annu Patel, appealed for people to make a donation to blood cancer charities, Anthony Nolan and DKMS, after learning people of an ethnically Asian background tend to have 30 per cent or lower chance of finding a match.

Ruchit said: “The strength of our little girl is inspiring and our friends and family have been a great source of strength.”

In August, Kaiya’s family found out a donor had been found and in September she received her stem cell transplant.

In November, she was announced as the winner of the John Petchey Young Hero Award at this year’s Anthony Nolan Supporter Awards.

And Harrow’s Labour Group increased its majority in the 2018 borough elections.

It secured 35 seats – an increase of one from 2014 – to maintain control of the council.

The Conservatives had been optimistic of wrestling a majority from their rivals, but it proved a step too far as people generally backed the status quo.

The Liberal Democrats lost their only seat in Rayners Lane and failed to build on the momentum seen across the rest of the UK.

The Conservatives held onto their 28 seats by taking the two vacancies in Headstone North, which had been held by Independent councillors.

On the night, Cllr Sachin Shah, said: “I’m absolutely ecstatic – this is the largest number of Labour councillors we’ve had in Harrow.”