Thieves could not ruin a charity’s New Year trips for autistic youngsters after vandalising its minibus in January.

The vehicle’s catalytic converter was stolen as part of a spate of similar thefts in the borough.

Resources for Autism used the minibus to take approximately 160 youngsters on outings over the Christmas period.

But days later, after reading the article in the Hendon & Finchley Times Dave Richman, wholesale manager at Curtain Factory Outlet, posted a cheque for £1,200 through the charity’s letterbox. 

In Cricklewood, armed police were involved in a six-and-a-half hour long stand-off at a block of flats.

Police were called to the tower block in Granville Road, Childs Hill, at around midday after a 55-year-old man was spotted pointing what was thought to be a gun through a smashed window.  Armed officers eventually stormed the building and arrested the man on suspicion of firearms offences and criminal damage.

Later in the month a newly-married Edgware man spoke of the “free for all” that ensued as the Costa Concordia cruise ship capsized off the shores of Italy.

Ian Donoff was 11 days into his honeymoon with his new wife Janice when the ship they were aboard ran aground, leaving 11 people dead and 24 missing. He said: “It was like a free for all. Children got precedent – apart from that it was hell.”

And Saracens Rugby Club promised to make a positive difference to the borough with its plans to move to Copthall Stadium. More than 6,000 letters of support were received during a consultation, and 1,500 letters of objection.