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Police seize £10m worth of heroin in Finchley

Police have seized almost £10million of heroin and arrested three men during an operation in Finchley.

Officers watched the men in a Mercedes on Tarling Road yesterday as it stopped to exchange two black holdalls with another van. When they arrested the three men they found the holdalls contained a massive 40 kilos of heroin. Another two kilos and around £10,000 in cash was found during a subsequent search of an address in north London.

In total, the street value of the heroin seized would be around £9.5million.

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Man jailed for life for brutal stabbing

A man has been been jailed for life for stabbing a transgender woman to death in her bedroom before leaving her decomposing body undiscovered for more than a month.

Romy Maynard, 28, denied killing 22-year-old Chrissie Azzopardi at her home in Crescent Way, north London, in April last year.

Ms Azzopardi knew her killer and telephone records showed they were in contact with each other in the days before her death.

Ms Azzopardi, who was due to undergo gender surgery, was found lying on her bed with fatal stab wounds to the chest.

Her body was discovered after neighbours noticed a bad smell coming from her flat and raised the alarm in June last year, the Old Bailey heard.

Prosecution lawyer Mark Heywood QC said he said the murder was "swift and brutal" and that the victim had "everything to look forward to in life".

Violent armed robber who hid in Finchley shop is jailed

A man who carried out a violent armed robbery in Finchley has been jailed for seven and a half years. 40-year-old Gary Vidgen, from north London, got into a jewellers shop earlier this year through a large hole he made in the wall.

Vidgen then hid, armed with a knife and chair leg. When staff turned up he jumped out and assaulted one of them, knocking him unconscious. A second member of staff, aged 70, tried to intervene but Vidgen grabbed hold of him and tied his hands up. He stole around £5,200 worth of jewellery.

Gary Vidgen Credit: Metropolitan Police

Host of activities at new centre

Visitors got a taster of some of the 1,000 different activities that will be on offer throughout the centre's first season, including art classes, cookery demonstrations, lectures and films.

Community leaders say everyone - from orthodox jews to those that just love jewish food - is welcome at the new centre. Credit: ITN
The building cost £50m to construct. Credit: ITN
Visitors were welcomed by musicians on stilts. Credit: ITN
The piazza was decorated with a "garden of Eden" theme. Credit: ITN
Graffiti artists demonstrated their skills. Credit: ITN
Activities included drawing. Credit: ITN
Sketching with charcoal. Credit: ITN
Youngsters were also entertained with yoga classes. Credit: ITN
The restaurant served up kosha food. Credit: ITN

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New Jewish community centre opens its doors in landmark step

London's newest community and cultural centre JW3 has opened its doors to the public for the first time.

Inspired by the Jewish Community Centre (JCC) of Manhattan, JW3 has been ten years and £50m in the making.

The new building on the Finchley Road will be, in the words of Dame Vivien Duffield: "A vibrant destination for London, open to all who have an interest in Jewish life".

Funded by her Clore Duffield Foundation and other private donors, and designed by architects Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, JW3 aspires to be a place where Jewish culture is made, not just celebrated. Its vision is to be at the heart of a unified, community, inspired by and engaged in Jewish life.

Finchley bank robber said he 'had a bomb'

Finchley Road bank robber sought. Credit: Metropolitan Police

Police are appealing for information after a man entered a bank in the Swiss Cottage area and told staff he had a bomb before escaping with an undisclosed amount of cash.

The robbery took place at Barclays Bank in Finchley Road, in north west London on July 12. The man passed a note to the cashier stating: 'I have a bomb give me the money.'

Anyone who recognises the man shown in the CCTV still or has information that may assist police is asked to contact Finchley Flying Squad on 020 8358 1751 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Police appeal for information after violent robbery

The robbery took place shortly before 12.45pm on Friday, 19 July, at the Western Union branch in Finchley Road, NW3.

Two men entered the store - one brandishing a handgun, the other armed with a sledgehammer.

The suspect holding the gun threatened to shoot staff and demanded they hand over money.

Meanwhile, the second suspect repeatedly struck the glass screen that separates staff from customers with the sledgehammer.

Between £8,000 and £10,000 was given to the men by a terrified staff member.

They then ran south down Finchley Road before turning left into Fitzjohns Avenue. They then got into a waiting car, a silver Renault Laguna, and drove away north, in the direction of Hampstead.

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