Thursday, May 26, 2011

Safer Communities

Following on from the earlier post about how the local Police are facing up to a 20% cut over 4 years I should point out that the Borough Commander, Detective Superintendant Sue Williams, went on to say how important Neighbourhood Watch would become in the future by being the eyes and ears of the police and, by adopting crime prevention tactics, they could help lower crime rates. And well she might.

I would also expect a booming trade for private security companies and manufacturers and installers of burglar alarms, CCTV etc. Mind you there has been a spate of thefts from local schools lately, despite CCTV and alarms, where large quantities of equipment have been stolen. It is not clear if the stolen equipment included the CCTV and the alarms.

She also referred to NHW as the “Big Society” and that our views would count in the future of policing. She encouraged everyone to have their say and influence local policing by completing the survey on the MPS website.

And so to the other two speakers on the night.

Liana McNabb from the Redbridge Trading Standards Office focused on the Redbridge Bogus Callers Partnership (set up 4 years ago) which won an award from Redbridge Council this year. There are 3 types of bogus callers a) distraction burglary b) hard pressure sales and c) posing as workmen. The typical target for bogus callers is a councillor “white 81 year old lone female” and these incidents reduce life expectancy. Agencies that are involved in the project include: the Police, SNTs, crime prevention team, housing, council, victim support, age concern, fire brigade and others. They concentrate their efforts on; raising awareness, publicising an approved traders list, and an initiative called Operational Liberal Days (stopping traders to check their identity and circumstances are legitimate). The partnership has also enforced ‘No Cold Calling Zones’ and has reduced doorstep crime by over 50%. See the latest scams over on Redbridge Eye.

Steve Wills, Crime Prevention Officer also works alongside police, bogus partnership team, environment team at the council, housing, highways plus more. He again stressed the message for those residents with UPVC doors - it’s not enough to lift the handle, you must lock the door with a key too, otherwise burglars can still get in from the outside! Entering houses to obtain Car Keys is still an issue - beware. Those residents with side gates (on semi detached or detached houses) are advised to bring the gate as close to the front of the house as possible so it is flush with the house and not set back creating an alley way that cannot be seen by neighbours from the street. Gates are permitted to be 2 metres high.

Take care and Watch out - this could be a bumpy ride.

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