Safe as houses

D1zZxryXgAMW4eFPC Daniel Thomas (right) and PCSO Graham Farrance

PC Daniel Thomas is pleased to report a significant fall in the number of burglaries in the South Woodford area, and encourages residents to help fight crime by securing their homes

My name is PC Daniel Thomas and I am the Dedicated Ward Officer (DWO) for South Woodford. I am one of two police officers who cover South Woodford and we also have a Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) dedicated to this area.

I know that many of you have been worried about theft-related crimes in South Woodford, particularly burglary. Interestingly, the majority of residential burglaries take place between 4pm and 8pm. But there are many things we have done and are continuing to do to reduce the number of burglaries, and I am pleased to say the numbers have indeed fallen substantially over the past six months. In November 2018, there were 18 recorded burglaries in the South Woodford ward. In May 2019, this fell to just two. We have worked very hard to reduce this number, but there are also things you can do to make your home more secure.

Burglary is an opportunist crime and burglars will target homes they believe are empty. We recommend leaving a light on when you go out, especially if you are going to return after dark. This will give the impression that your home is occupied. Timed lights can also help with this. This is the cheapest and most effective way of securing your home beyond locks and closing windows. I know all of this sounds obvious and most of you probably do it anyway, but on our patrols, we come across many homes in darkness in the evenings that may seem inviting to unwanted ‘guests’!

Alarms, CCTV and video doorbells are other effective ways of securing your home. If you have a side gate that leads to a garden, you should ensure this cannot be easily compromised. Make it hard for thieves to climb over by installing spikes and not leaving wheelie bins in front.

Another crime we have experienced recently in South Woodford is the theft of motor vehicles. This has been driven by an increase in keyless entry cars. The solution to this is relatively straightforward. There are pouches that can be bought online for a small amount of money that block the signal the key fobs are transmitting, preventing criminals from remotely accessing the signal.

As a Safer Neighbourhoods Team, we are very busy dealing with a wide variety of issues in your area. This ranges from crime, community events, neighbour disputes, mental health assessments and antisocial behaviour. We also like to meet as many of you as possible – you are our eyes and ears. We patrol South Woodford on bicycle and foot only as this makes us more accessible and helps us deal with local issues.

If you see a crime happening, call 999. To report a crime, call 101. To contact the South Woodford Safer Neighbourhoods Team, email JISNT-south-woodford@met.police.uk or follow them on Twitter @mpsswoodford. Police contact points are listed in our events calendar.
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