Crime is not something we should be complacent about. While our neighbourhood is by no means an unsafe place to live, there are basic things that we can all do to help the police and deter criminal activities in our area.
Little Venice Safer Neighbourhood Team
This Team is a unit of the local police set up to work with the local community to aggregate information about suspicious behaviour, look for patterns and launch targeted local initiatives. An example of their work was the recent enhancement of a visible police presence around Warwick Avenue tube station following an increase in the incidence of theft from people leaving the station, and has been effective in reducing that problem.
The Safer Neighbourhood Team can be contacted on:
T: 020-87212411, M: 07290 233949, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, website.
They are keen to receive information on any suspicious behaviour we see in our area, however trivial it may seem – people walking down the street looking into car or house windows, people loitering, etc. They are building a database, can identify patterns and will respond when the situation requires.
They also distribute information about any crime-related issues they hear about and think local residents might want to be made aware of. If you would like to be included in this mailing list, send an e-mail to email@example.com.
Other useful information
New police short phone number: 101 for non-emergency reports of suspect or criminal activity. For more information on when you should call 101 see the website http://www.police.uk/101/
Emergency number remains 999.
The police are also providing residents with free Operation Bumblebee kits, which contain ultra-violet marker pens. You use them to write your name and contact details on your valuables. The information is not visible in normal light but becomes visible under ultra-violet light. If they are stolen the police can identify the owner when the goods are recovered, which not only enables you to get your belongings back but also helps the police link the criminals to the crime. The packs also contain a sticker you can put on your window showing that your belongings have been marked with these pens, which should be a deterrent to burglars. If you would like to obtain one of these packs e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the Safer Neighbourhoods Team directly.
Security Tips & Advice
For some tips on things you can do to make your home and car less attractive to criminals visit Crimestoppers website.
Make sure the entry door to your building closes firmly behind you! Some recent burglaries in Warrington Crescent resulted from burglars getting inside the building through an entry door that hadn’t been properly closed. It may even be worth installing a new door-closer to make sure the door closes quickly and firmly behind anyone who exits or enters.
Keep all accessible windows closed or if opened, bolted with security bolts that prevent them opening more than a few inches.
Make sure there is nothing left on the seats of your car that would attract the attention of passers-by, e.g. phones, CDs or bags.
If you have a SatNav or hands-free kit, make sure all evidence of it is removed from sight. It is even worthwhile cleaning from the windscreen the suction-cup mark.
Take care when leaving the tube not to have valuable items too obviously on display. There have been a number of incidents around the Warwick Avenue tube with people pulling out their phones when leaving the tube and having them grabbed from them by people on bikes.
Burglars particularly love an unoccupied flat. So it makes sense, if you are going to be away, to make it look like people are still there:
Put some of your lamps on timer switches, so that they turn on and off each night automatically. You can get these from electrical goods stores for about £5.00, which doesn’t seem a bad investment.
Also, tell your neighbours when you are going to be away, and ask them to check in on your flat from time to time.
Pull your blinds down when you are not at home so people can’t see that the house is unattended.
Keep your valuables away from your front door – it would surprise you to know that burglars will look through the mail slot.
The police tell us that most crime is opportunistic – people see valuables accessible and unattended and try their luck. If you make things difficult for them, they will try their luck somewhere else.
The Neighbourhood Watch scheme aims to provide a forum for residents to learn about ways to keep our neighbourhood safe and to liaise with the Little Venice Safer Neighbourhood Team.
We are currently looking for someone to act as our local representative. You can find out more about what it entails by going to https://www.ourwatch.org.uk/get-involved/find-my-local-neighbourhood-watch/find-my-local-scheme. If you are interested please contact Westbourne Management at email@example.com.